Remembering my friend, Joe Lieberman

I remember exactly when Joe Lieberman became my friend — after he scolded me for not heeding the commands of my Jewish mother.

In 2017, I was working on a series of articles for Salon about “centrism,” a once-dominant but rapidly fading force in American political life. That May I had interviewed two of the most most prominent remaining centrists, both of whom had to some degree become outcasts from their own political parties....

Originally posted on salon.com

Our ongoing fertility crisis is leading to a future where only the rich can reproduce

With all of the depressing news in the world, many people are justifiably afraid that humanity is careening toward extinction. A 2021 poll of 10,000 young people aged 16 to 25 found that 56% believed humanity is “doomed” due to climate change. Even if climate change doesn’t take us out, there are the existential threats posed by war with nuclear explosives or other weapons of mass destruction, a lurking specter thanks to global conflicts spanning from Israel to Ukraine....

Originally posted on salon.com

Heat is making our planet uninhabitable. Why isn’t this the top news story around the world?

In the 1973 sci-fi movie “Soylent Green,” the year 2022 is depicted as a world so ravaged by pollution that the temperature never drops below 90°F (32°C). Food is scarce; millions of people are homeless and crowd together in hallways just to sleep; the government has become overtly authoritarian. While things are not currently that bad (at least not yet), studies on climate change repeatedly indicate that the heat-based premise of “Soylent Green” is rapidly becoming close to reality....

Originally posted on salon.com

Lessons from a Nobel Prize-winning vaccine designer on standing up for one’s principles

The first time I talked to Dr. Katalin Karikó on the phone, it was late 2020. I knew that Karikó had helped create mRNA vaccines — the ones developed by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer/BioNTech (where Karikó works) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic — and I expected to discuss science.

Instead, I unexpectedly found myself wishing I knew how to speak Hungarian....

Originally posted on salon.com

Autism is not “demonic” or a mistake, despite what some Christian pundits claim

Growing up as an autistic teenager in the early noughties, I often struggled with the prejudices of the people around me. When I obsessed over specific interests, failed to make eye contact and was socially awkward, I would be told that there was something “wrong” with me. For a long time, I internalized these assessments; it was not until I learned about the concept of neurodiversity that my self-esteem improved....

Originally posted on salon.com