Newspaper headlines and television reports are disturbing and mind-numbing: Hurricane Katrina, the Asian tsunami, the Myanmar cyclone, earthquakes in China, genocide in Darfur. A unifying theme of these tragedies is how often they are met by shrugged shoulders, glazed eyes, or complete indifference, proof positive of the aphorism “one half of the world knows not how the other lives.”
Corresponding Author: Howard Markel, MD, PhD, University of Michigan, Center for the History of Medicine, 100 Simpson Memorial Institute, 102 Observatory, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0725 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Financial Disclosures: None reported.
Additional Contribution: We thank Alexandra M. Stern, PhD, for providing her wisdom and insight in the composition of this Commentary.