Author and Health and Science Reporter
Aid is vital, but we have a long way to go before we have convinced the public in America of that. Global health issues themselves are barely on the agenda politically right now, and so far Americans are still skeptical of the issues and the aid. When asked about foreign aid, years of polling show that Americans believe we are spending huge amounts on foreign aid, a quarter of the entire American budget, when in fact we are spending less than one percent. People believe Americans are the most generous nation and that large amounts of aid are unnecessary, as long as small amounts are spent well. So, first we need to establish the facts and the possibilities for the public, not just the experts. Only then can we take the next steps.
Philip J. Hilts is the author of six books and has been a prize-winning health and science reporter for both the New York Times and the Washington Post. Over twenty years' time he placed more than 300 stories on the front pages of those papers. He covered a wide range of topics in health and science, including HIV/AIDS from the time of the first CDC report in the summer of 1981, in America and in Africa. His book Protecting America's Health won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for the best science book published in America in 2003. Protecting America's Health and his book on human memory and brain science, Memory's Ghost, were both named New York Times notable books of the year. His book Scientific Temperaments was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Smokescreen: The Truth Behind the Tobacco Industry Cover-up was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by Business Week Magazine.