Richard Horton is a physician. He edits The Lancet, a weekly medical journal based in London and New York. He is also a visiting professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Stopping Malaria: The Wrong Road

Bill and Melinda Gates, right, with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, Princess Cristina of Spain, and Mexican President Felipe Calderón at the announcement in Mexico City of the 2015 Meso-American Health Initiative, which aims to reduce malaria and other health problems in Mexico and Central America, June 2010

The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria

by Bill Shore
The US eradicated malaria in 1951. Until then, this parasitic disease, transmitted largely by infected mosquitoes, had been endemic across much of the country. In the Tennessee River Valley, for example, malaria affected almost a third of the population in 1933. By the time the US National Malaria Eradication Program …

Cancer: Malignant Maneuvers

The Secret History of the War on Cancer

by Devra Davis
When President Richard Nixon signed the US National Cancer Act into law on December 23, 1971, he declared, “I hope that in the years ahead that we may look back on this day and this action as being the most significant action taken during this Administration.” Nixon killed his hope …

What’s Wrong with Doctors

How Doctors Think

by Jerome Groopman
Few can doubt that Western medicine has been a phenomenal success. Heart disease kills two-thirds fewer people now than it did fifty years ago. The frequency of conditions as diverse as stroke and trauma is being gradually checked. Mortality from breast cancer has fallen by a quarter in less than …

Palestinians: The Crisis in Medical Care

“Nothing is changing,” says Dr. Jamil Suliman, a pediatrician and now the director of Beit Hanoun Hospital in Gaza. On a quiet January morning, he shows me a clean and well-equipped emergency room, modern X-ray facilities, a pharmacy, and a basic yet functioning laboratory. Dr. Suliman oversees a medical team …

AIDS: The Elusive Vaccine

After twenty-three years of intense research into the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), together with the accumulated experience of more than twenty million deaths from the in-fection worldwide, there is still no prospect of a vaccine to prevent AIDS. Is the discovery of a vaccine simply a matter of time? Or …

The Dawn of McScience

Science in the Private Interest: Has the Lure of Profits Corrupted Biomedical Research?

by Sheldon Krimsky
One of the most striking aspects of John Paul II’s papal leadership has been his frequent and outspoken forays into science, especially the life sciences. His positions on abortion, sexuality, and contraception have alienated vast numbers of Catholics and non-Catholics. Many people had seen his tenure in the Vatican as …