Top Global Healers of 2013
Each year, Foreign Policy compiles a comprehensive list of the most prominent figures in various areas of global thinking–artists, decision-makers and advocates alike–honoring them for their respective accomplishments. This year, widely known names such as Edward Snowden, Rand Paul and Vladimir Putin appeared on the list, all claiming their earned places within modern day history.
Following are all the selectees from the “Healer” category, each with a sentence description – as presented on the Foreign Policy website – and a short motivation for why these people deserve to have their names on the list. Here are the top global healers:
Dr. Caroline Buckee – “for using metadata to fight disease.”
Buckee pioneered the idea of using cellphone data in order to track human movement in malaria-infested zones, thus helping understand the epidemiology of the disease. In modern day society, mobile phones are spreading across the third world, making for an efficient and easy marker. Buckee’s research, published in 2013, covers crucial data collected from over 15 million cellphones.
Anand Grover – “for going to the mat with Big Pharma.”
A human rights lawyer and United Nations affiliate, Grover won a case against the Swiss company Novartis, which was at the time attempting to patent its cancer drug Glivec for consumption in India. Thanks to Grover’s efforts, the generic version of this effective, leukemia-battling treatment can be acquired for a price 92 percent cheaper than previously marked, thus introducing affordable medication for the poorer Indian population.
Michael Faye, Paul Niehaus, Jeremy Shapiro and Rohit Wanchoo – “for trusting the poor to spend their money wisely.”
Four economists co-founded the organization GiveDirectly, which focuses on allocating funds directly to those in need. With headquarters in Kenya, GiveDirectly transfers donations received online into pre-selected, poverty-stricken households. Rather controversial in nature, this approach has so far witnessed success.
Hannah Gay, Katherine Luzuriaga and Deborah Persaud – “for bringing us closer to a cure for HIV.”
A pediatrician and two researchers who developed an aggressive treatment which, for the first time in history, managed to cure a newborn child of HIV. Their work is the basis potentially eradicating the death sentence of HIV in the future.
Homi Kharas – “for charting a path to the end of poverty.”
Lead author in a post-Millennium Development Goals regime panel, the former World Bank economist has put tremendous efforts into anti-poverty planning. Kharas and his peers are currently aiming to end extreme global poverty by 2030.
Erica Chenoweth – “for proving Gandhi right.”
Arguing for the success rate of non-violent conflict, Chenoweth has compiled a data set ranging from the years of 1945 to 2006 that examines effectiveness of various political strategies. Applying the data to current events such as the issues with Syria, she is pioneering a revolutionary approach to political issues.
Sanjay Basu and David Stuckler – “for warning that austerity can be deadly.”
Epidemiologist and physician at Stanford and political economist/epidemiologist at Oxford respectively, these two men have come together in analyzing the effects of economic rigidity on public health in recent times. Compiling large amounts of data, they published the book “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills.” Their argument supports better funding of public health during economically severe times.
Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir – “for showing how scarcity changes the way you think about everything.”
Harvard economist and Princeton psychologist, these two men co-authored the book “Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much.” Raising empathy for the poor, the book discusses the “scarcity trap,” and how not having enough resources changes the way people think.
– Natalia Isaeva
Sources: Foreign Policy, MIT Technology Review, Managing Intellectual Property, Times Higher Education, The Washington Post, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Give Directly
Photo: World Bank