El trágico coste de ser acientífico

PRINCETON – Durante su mandato como presidente de Sudáfrica, Thabo Mbeki rechazó el consenso científico de que el SIDA es causado por un virus, el VIH, y que los medicamentos antirretrovirales pueden salvar las vidas de los seropositivos. En lugar de ello, abrazó los puntos de vista de un pequeño grupo de científicos disidentes que sugerían otras causas para el SIDA.

Mbeki siguió manteniendo tercamente esta opinión a pesar de que la evidencia contra ella se fue haciendo abrumadora. Cada vez que alguien -incluso Nelson Mandela, el heroico luchador de la resistencia contra el apartheid que se convirtiera en el primer presidente negro de Sudáfrica- cuestionó públicamente los puntos de vista de Mbeki, sus partidarios lo denunciaban con saña.

Mientras Botswana y Namibia, vecinos de Sudáfrica, proporcionaban antirretrovirales a la mayoría de sus ciudadanos infectados por VIH, no ocurría así en la Sudáfrica gobernada por Mbeki. Un equipo de investigadores de la Universidad de Harvard ha estudiado las consecuencias de esta política. Utilizando supuestos conservadores, estima que si el gobierno de Sudáfrica hubiera proporcionado los medicamentos adecuados, tanto a pacientes con SIDA como a mujeres embarazadas con riesgo de infectar sus bebés, se habrían evitado 365.000 muertes prematuras.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/1KPTXaM/es;
  1. China corruption Isaac Lawrence/Getty Images

    The Next Battle in China’s War on Corruption

    • Chinese President Xi Jinping knows well the threat that corruption poses to the authority of the Communist Party of China and the state it controls. 
    • But moving beyond Xi's anti-corruption purge to build robust and lasting anti-graft institutions will not be easy, owing to enduring opportunities for bureaucratic capture.
  2. Italy unemployed demonstration SalvatoreEsposito/Barcroftimages / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

    Putting Europe’s Long-Term Unemployed Back to Work

    Across the European Union, millions of people who are willing and able to work have been unemployed for a year or longer, at great cost to social cohesion and political stability. If the EU is serious about stopping the rise of populism, it will need to do more to ensure that labor markets are working for everyone.

  3. Latin America market Federico Parra/Getty Images

    A Belt and Road for the Americas?

    In a time of global uncertainty, a vision of “made in the Americas” prosperity provides a unifying agenda for the continent. If implemented, the US could reassert its historical leadership among a group of countries that share its fundamental values, as well as an interest in inclusive economic growth and rising living standards.

  4. Startup office Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    How Best to Promote Research and Development

    Clearly, there is something appealing about a start-up-based innovation strategy: it feels democratic, accessible, and so California. But it is definitely not the only way to boost research and development, or even the main way, and it is certainly not the way most major innovations in the US came about during the twentieth century.

  5. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.