Much has been written about the US’s decision to back the patent waiver for COVID vaccines. These two articles help me take the long view. Peter Hotez and al’s “Producing a vaccine requires more than a patent” reminds us that boosting the production of mRNA vaccines to fight COVID requires a technological-scientific-regulatory ecosystem that few emerging economies possess and typically takes a decade to build. Anand Giridharadas’ “Of patents and power: Doses are charity. Knowledge is justice” interviews five activists to unpack the justice, power, and political dynamics at play around the COVID patent waiver debate. It shows the limits of market-based solutions for global health issues.
John Levy’s “The hybrid workplace probably won’t last” identifies strong factors playing against the long-term success of hybrid teams. Communication and trust decrease with distance. Lack of breaks, transitions, and commutes affects reflective capacity. Creating a remote culture of belonging is hard work. Levy, an expert of connection, trust and belonging, predicts that all white collars will go back to the office.
My graph this week is Piechartpirate’s animated “Worldwide energy production by source 1860-2019”. Click and play. It is quite sobering. For all the progress on renewable energy, the world is very far from getting rid of fossil fuels.
My quote is from Aldous Huxley [h/t Maria Popova]: “Knowledge is acquired when we succeed in fitting a new experience into the system of concepts based upon our old experiences. Understanding comes when we liberate ourselves from the old and so make possible a direct, unmediated contact with the new, the mystery, moment by moment, of our existence”.