February 9, 2015
Op-Ed, Foreign Affairs
By Kelly M. Greenhill, Research Fellow, International Security Program
"...[W]e should consider divorcing the significance of an issue from its reported or purported size. Instead, we could use alternative criteria to judge the merits of how to deal with conflict, such as applying collective values and societal norms. A focus on deterring mass atrocities, for instance, might be a better use of limited resources than either waiting for a death toll to escalate in order to justify intervention, or artificially inflating numbers to justify taking actions actually driven by other, more strategically-oriented rationales."
January 22, 2015
Coinciding with the conclusion of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Bill and Melinda Gates talk about their “big bets” for the next 15 years in their Annual Letter this year. Among the questions they ask: How do we feed Africa, and ultimately the world? Their big bet is that Africa will feed itself and will be on the way to helping feed the world by 2030.
Calestous Juma, who heads the Belfer Center’s Agricultural Innovation in Africa project, supported by the Gates Foundation, agrees with the Gates’ bet. In his 2011 book The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa, he provides details on how Africa can feed itself in a generation. Here, he answers questions about what is needed for Africa to make huge strides in agriculture in the next 15 years.
December 23, 2014
Op-Ed, The Boston Globe
By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School
In an otherwise annus horribilis in foreign policy, who were the brave men and women working tirelessly for peace in 2014? Professor Burns asked his Harvard Kennedy School students and his three daughters for their suggestions.
Here are their and his choices: Pope Francis; two 17-year olds--Malala Yousafzai and Hong Kong Protest leader Joshua Wong; AIDS advocate Joep Lange; the Ebola doctors/nurses; international relief organizations providing food/shelter to the 11 million Syrian homeless, the millions of non-violent protesters against racial discrimination; Shimon Peres and, yes, Barack Obama and John Kerry. And, above all, the victims of ISIS, including James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, Peter Kassig, Alan Henning and David Haines.
Professor Burns finishes this op-ed wishing us all peace on earth in 2015.
December 17, 2014
Op-Ed, Financial Times
By Nawaf Obaid, Visiting Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
When the Saudis, the leaders of Opec, decided at the cartel’s recent meeting in Vienna to maintain their oil production levels, it sent a strong message to the world: the market, not Opec, should decide oil prices. As a result, oil prices dropped, falling below $60 per barrel this week.
December 9, 2014
Op-Ed, Genetic Literacy Project
"African countries, by virtue of being latecomers, have had the advantage of using second-generation GM seed. African farmers can take advantage of technological leapfrogging to reap high returns from transgenic crops while reducing the use of chemicals. In 2010, Kenya and Tanzania announced plans to start growing GM cotton in view of the anticipated benefits of second-generation GM cotton. The door is now open for the revolutionary adoption of biotechnology that will extend to other crops as technological familiarity and economic benefits spread."
December 3, 2014
By Gary Samore, Executive Director for Research, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Executive Director for Research, Dr. Gary Samore, testifies at the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing, " Dismantling Iran's Nuclear Weapons Program: Next Steps to Achieve A Comprehensive Deal."
October 31, 2014
Op-Ed, The Guardian
"Ebola is rolling back years of economic effort in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. It is also exposing the limitations of development models that ignore the importance of building state capacity. A major lesson from the outbreak is that there is no substitute for effective public institutions in protecting the public interest."
October 22, 2014
"Africa's desire to become a knowledge-based economy is within reach. But it is not being helped by economic policies that emphasise raw materials instead of building versatile technological capabilities that can drive industrial diversification."
October 10, 2014
On Friday, October 10, Calestous Juma, professor of the practice of international development and director of the Belfer Center's Science, Technology, and Globalization Project, was awarded the coveted Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize (LAAP) during a ceremony in the Akwa Ibom State in Uyo, Nigeria.
October 6, 2014
Op-Ed, Columbia Journalism Review
By Cristine Russell, Senior Fellow, Environment and Natural Resources Program
The first American case of Ebola, diagnosed last week in Dallas, TX, was a real-time test for government officials seeking to quell public fears about the prospect of a major outbreak here—and for journalists reporting the story at the local, national, and international levels. By and large, both public health experts and mainstream media get good marks in terms of clear communication about the Texas Ebola case, despite some medical mishaps in Dallas and cable news hyperbole.