The best weekly news reader of 2012

As the days get shorter, the lists get longer. It’s the time of year when writers all over opine on the best of 2012. We start off this week with two of our favorites.

The best small ideas of 2012

Foreign Policy, December 2012

For all the laments we heard this year about inequality and calls to Occupy this or that, very little was actually done to close a wealth gap that, in some countries, has reached Gilded Age proportions. In the United States, the economy sputtered along and the presidential horse race soaked up most of the oxygen, while Europe spent most of 2012 peering into the abyss. In short, it was a year sorely in need of big ideas. A look behind the headlines, however, finds an abundance of seemingly small ideas that are quietly changing the world in big ways. Read the article.

The most interesting health stories of 2012

The Atlantic, December 10, 2012

By “interesting,” we don’t necessarily mean those fascinating “Man Who ‘Gave Birth’ to Cat Receives Life-Saving Kidney Transplant from Said Cat” stories. But looking back on a busy year, some things stood out as being both widely discussed and of some consequence, and not boring. Read the article.

Man in white coat sits at table with basket of vaccine vials and vaccination cards.

Vaccines save lives. Can they also grow economies? Photo: PATH/Gabe Bienczycki.

How vaccines save lives, grow economies

CNN, December 7, 2012

We all know that vaccines save lives by protecting people against disease. What is less well-known is that vaccines also are an engine for economic growth—far beyond their health benefits. Read the article.

Fighting cholera, a dose at a time

PBS NewsHour, December 12, 2012

The United Nations announced a $2.2 billion initiative Tuesday aimed at curbing the spread of cholera in Haiti over the next 10 years through improved water and sanitation projects. The plan put forward by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also calls for funding a new tool in health officials’ toolkit to combat the disease—a cholera vaccine. Read the article.

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