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My advice to undergraduate students at Harvard


What does the future hold?
Howard Hiatt Physician
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[Q] Where do you think all of these areas that you've talked about and that you've been so involved in are going? Where are they going to be 30-40 years from now?

I wouldn't pretend to, to guess. I would say that unless we, as a nation, the United States, blessed as we have been, unless we decide that the issues that I've been talking about: science, children, global health - unless we decide that these issues belong to all of us and have to be pre-eminent on our agenda, I despair to think of where we will be 30 or 40 years ago... from now. I worry about it. I spoke of my children, of their children; they won't have the good fortune that Doris and I have had unless there is a major change, I believe, in the way that we look at our responsibilities.

We are the strongest nation in the world. We have the greatest access to resources. At the present time we're diminishing the attention to science. We're diminishing attention to education. We continue to build up a military that seems far stronger to me than anything we could ever need, a military, in fact, that is presumably based on a war that is of another era.

Born in 1925, American Howard Hiatt set up one of the first medical oncology research and training units in the US and has headed up some of America's most prestigious medical institutions. Hiatt attended Harvard College and received his MD from the Harvard Medical School in 1948. He was a member of the team at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, that first identified and described mRNA, and he was among the first to demonstrate mRNA in mammalian cells. From 1991 to 1997, he was Secretary of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, where he began and directs the Academy's Initiatives For Children program. He is also committed to helping disadvantaged people access decent health care.

Listeners: Milton C. Weinstein

Milton C. Weinstein, Ph.D., is the Henry J. Kaiser Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. At the Harvard School of Public Health he is Academic Director of the Program in Health Decision Science, and Director of the Program on Economic Evaluation of Medical Technology . He is best known for his research on cost-effectiveness of medical practices and for developing methods of economic evaluation and decision analysis in health care. He is a co-developer of the CEPAC (Cost-Effectiveness of Preventing AIDS Complications) computer simulation model, and has conducted studies on prevention and treatment of HIV infections. He is the co-developer of the Coronary Heart Disease Policy Model, which has been used to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of cardiovascular prevention and treatment. He is an author of four books: Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values; Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine,the report of the Panel of Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine; Clinical Decision Analysis; and Hypertension: A Policy Perspective.He has also published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed medical, public health, and economics journals. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Award for Career Achievement from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Dr. Weinstein received his A.B. and A.M. in Applied Mathematics (1970), his M.P.P. (1972), and his Ph.D. in Public Policy (1973) from Harvard University.

Tags: United States

Duration: 2 minutes, 13 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2006

Date story went live: 24 January 2008