In reviewing the Issues archives to find articles to revisit in this anniversary edition, we came across several authors whose insights we would dearly like to read again but who have died.
David E. Rogers was a member of the Issues editorial advisory board and wrote articles about reforming medical education and about AIDS. He had been the president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for many years and was cochair of the president’s AIDS Commission when he died in 1994 at the age of 68.
Carl Sagan was 62 when he died in 1996. One of the nation’s most visible scientists because of his role as host of the TV series Cosmos, a visionary champion of space exploration, an active participant in arms control debates, and a winner of the National Academy of Sciences’ Public Welfare Medal, Sagan had written about space exploration and military technology for Issues.
Jonathan Mann was 51 and doing an exemplary job as head of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS when he was killed in a plane crash in 1998. He was one of the first to recognize that AIDS would become an enormous global problem, and his type of energy and dedication is more needed than ever now.
Congressman George Brown was 79 when he died in 1999, but there was no hint that he was running out of provocative things to say and do. Brown not only wrote feature articles for Issues, he wrote book reviews. On Capitol Hill, where anything longer than a one-pager challenges a member’s attention span, Brown read books and took them seriously enough to want to write about them. For this anniversary, we would have asked Brown to revisit his article about enhancing the scientific capacity of developing countries.
Marc Reisner was 51 when he died of cancer in 2000. His article on water wars in the West, which came out of his groundbreaking book Cadillac Desert, won Issues its first major national award. The problems that he identified in the United States have yet to be resolved, and we could certainly use his expertise and wisdom in dealing with global water issues that are growing steadily more problematic.
Lisa J. Raines was only 42 when she boarded American Airlines Flight 77 on September 11, 2001. She first wrote about biotechnology regulation when she was at the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment and wrote again when she moved to the Industrial Biotechnology Association. She had become senior vice president for government relations at Genzyme Corporation.
Cecil H. Green
One other individual deserves special mention. Cecil Green died in April at the age of 102. Even though he never wrote for Issues, Green played a critical role. Together with his wife Ida, Cecil was one of the great philanthropists of the 20th century, and most of his generosity was devoted to science, medicine, and education–including the University of Texas at Dallas and the National Academies. The Greens contributed to 50 academic, medical, and civic buildings; 20 instructional and research facilities; and 28 endowed chairs in 15 institutions.
In 1961, the Greens joined with Erik Jonsson and Eugene McDermott (who with Green had founded Texas Instruments Inc.) and their wives to create the Graduate Research Center of the Southwest. In 1969, the Center became the University of Texas at Dallas. In 1990, in what would be one of his last major gifts, Green made a substantial contribution to the creation of the university’s Cecil and Ida Green Center for the Study of Science and Society. The center’s mission is to promote a better scientific understanding of the world’s most critical problems and to analyze the wisdom and practicality of proposed solutions. One of its first activities was to become a cosponsor with the National Academies of Issues. This partnership provided a firm fiscal base for Issues, and without it we would not be celebrating this anniversary.