We have completed maintenance on DiscoverMagazine.com and action may be required on your account. Learn More

Stewart Brand Gets Fact-Checked

By Keith Kloor
Nov 9, 2010 4:15 AMNov 20, 2019 12:44 AM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

One of my favorite new blogs (for me) is Ecological Sociology. Its current post on Stewart Brand's hypocrisy hits all the right notes. (Monbiot is all over this.) Long story short: In Brand's book, Whole Earth Discipline, he evidently writes (I haven't seen the passage myself yet):

...In an excess of zeal that [Rachel] Carson did not live to moderate, DDT was banned worldwide, and malaria took off in Africa. Quoted in a 2007 National Geographic article, Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said: "The ban on DDT may have killed 20m children.'

As Gary at Ecological Society notes:

It turns out that the 2001 Stockholm Convention which regulates DDT use worldwide a) doesn't ban DDT and b) explicitly allows use to control disease vectors (read kill the mosquitoes that carry malaria). Monbriot's blog traces a hilarious series of ineffective attempts to contact Brand and get him to address the issue .... sort of a text version of Michael Moore's Roger and Me. Brand even suggests that Monbriot's argument isn't with Brand but with Gwadz (who Brand quotes)!

Gary goes on to write:

Personally, I want science journalism that holds itself to higher standards than the ideological hacks that dominate political blogs and unthinkingly repeat whatever quote they can find that justifies their position.

Me too, but since when is Stewart Brand a science journalist?

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!


Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

To The Magazine

Save up to 40% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2024 Kalmbach Media Co.