Similar Approaches
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Author: Gianpiero Pescarmona
Date: 31/03/2010


Eredi di Maturana?


Medicina Moderna di Beppe Rocca

Rocca, un video di introduzione

Master in Global Health

What do students do when they are fed up with not cool educational software? They create the learning platform that they like!

Course of Clinical Biochemistry

BioCoder, the newsletter of biological revolution (O'Reilly)


How to collect and order info from the Web

Everything is miscellaneous / Elogio del disordine - David Weinberger 2007

How to evaluate medical info from the Web


How to use the Web to teach: An example

Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw, a January course taught by Professor Jonathan Zittrain and Elizabeth Stark, co-hosted by Stanford Law School and Harvard Law SchooI.

January 25th, 2010

Want to see one way to use the Web to teach? Berkman’s Jonathan Zittrain and Stanford Law’s Elizabeth Stark are teaching a course called Difficult Problems in Cyberlaw. It looks like they have students creating wiki pages for the various topics being discussed. The one on “The Future of Wikipedia” is a terrific resource for exploring the issues Wikipedia is facing.

Among the many things I like about this approach: It implicitly makes the process of learning — which we have traditionally taken as an inward process — a social, outbound process. By learning this way. we are not only enriching ourselves, but enriching our world.

Fabio Casati

My only criticism: I wish the pages had prominent pointers to a main page that explains that the pages are part of a course.

The Human Whisperer:Abraham Verghese at Stanford

Verghese believes in the curative power of literature for physicians. Writing is a way to explore what they see every day and can’t share. Reading is a way for students to revive the empathy that gets lost in the process of medical training. Modern training “takes lovely people and converts them into bottom-line, somewhat cynical, disease-oriented people,” Verghese insists. “We teach them to convert into our language, which we need for diagnosis. We rob the story of everything human about it.” After a while: “Imagining suffering is a struggle. The danger is we begin to talk about the diabetic in bed three.” Literature, on the other hand, is full of suffering. He likes to teach his students Chekhov, and is apt to recite a poem off the top of his head by William Carlos Williams—two other writer/physicians.

My comment: the patient feelings may be much more sensitive to body failures than any of our diagnostic techniques. Asking the right question is what physician should learn to do.


The Problem With Sugar-Daddy Science

The pursuit of money from wealthy donors distorts the research process—and yields flashy projects that don’t help and don’t work.

SEP 18, 2019

  • Next, research and philanthropy should recognize that improving people’s lives usually involves a series of adjustments to complex systems, not a single revolutionary invention. The Boston-based nonprofit Partners in Health is a model here. It tackles problems that eluded medical charities for decades, such as drug-resistant tuberculosis, by taking on underlying issues—like the malnutrition that makes people vulnerable to TB in the first place—instead of just prescribing drugs. Instead of attempting to build a food computer, a lab could identify a more immediate need, such as cheap, easy-to-clean food-handling equipment, and invent that. No one should fear losing prestige by fixing real problems.
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