The Pursuit And Dissemination Of Scientific Knowledge Essay

1313 Words 6 Pages
“Science does not exist in a vacuum.” The pursuit and dissemination of scientific knowledge is a result of interactions far beyond the laboratory environment; government funding, social perceptions and politics all affect the path of science. Epidemiologist Elizabeth Pisani’s button-pushing account of efforts to prevent the spread of HIV during the late 1990’s and early twenty-first century, The Wisdom of Whores, is guided by this idea. Pisani discusses the many ways that factors outside of science have shaped the war against HIV/AIDS. Incredibly accessible, accurate, and brutally honest, The Wisdom of Whores should be required reading for young adults.
Wisdom is effective in large part due to the relationship Elizabeth Pisani quickly forms with the reader. As an epidemiologist, Pisani has worked for UNAIDS, the WHO, the CDC and the World Bank. Throughout Wisdom, Pisani cultivates the persona of a peer and an insider, eager to let you in on every secret the rest of the world believes you are too naïve to hear. Rebellious, unafraid to push boundaries and ask the right questions, she defies the idea that the worlds of public policy and epidemiology are not meant to intersect. She argues, quite reasonably, that in order for the work of epidemiologists to truly matter, they must be vocal within the political sector, reaching decision makers.
Ms. Pisani begins The Wisdom of Whores with a section entitled, “Cooking up an Epidemic”, describing her work at UNAIDS in 1995 writing…

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