Author Archives: jedstevenson

Fighting for life and sight in Ethiopia

ABEL WAS BORN with one eye larger than the other. The difference wasn’t striking, but it caught the attention of the doctor who delivered him, and Abel’s father Getahun sought advice on what might have caused it. “There’s nothing wrong … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, children, Ethiopia, health, medicine | Tagged | 2 Comments

Eye cancer in Ethiopia, revisited

My son suffers from a cancer of the eyes that is fatal if untreated. Now three years old, he’s leading about as close to a normal life as a child can with such a disease — thanks in large part … Continue reading

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A distorted lens

Before They Pass Away, a project of the Anglo-Dutch photographer Jimmy Nelson, provides a window on some of the indigenous peoples of the world. His photographs — reproduced in a coffee-table book and a lavish website — are beautiful. But … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, Ethiopia, indigenous people, justice, photography, politics, Westernization | Leave a comment

The EPA: A victim of its own success?

William Ruckelshaus was the first director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a recent interview he reflected on what’s changed during the 43 years since the agency was established — and in particular since the passing of landmark … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, climate, environmental science, health, politics, USA, water | Leave a comment

Top ten books of 2013

These are the books that marked the year for me.* Each resonated in one way or another with things I’ve learned as a researcher in Ethiopia and Congo, and as a dad.   1. The landgrabbers: The new fight over … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, climate, education, environmental science, evolution, food, health, inspiration, medicine, politics | 2 Comments

A day in the life, in the Congo rainforest

A further installment from last summer’s research trip to the Congo   Within an hour of sunrise, I was woken by the heat. Outside my tent, Jerome sat on a makeshift bench, with his laptop open in front of him. … Continue reading

Posted in anthropology, Congo, food, hunter-gatherers | Leave a comment

The roots of egalitarianism

Are we natural democrats? Or will tyrants always be with us?   IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, a handful of anthropologists, living with hunter-gatherers, described the workings of societies without leaders, where food seemed to be equally available to all. [1] … Continue reading

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