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When he wrote these words in the 1950s, Schweitzer was regarded by many as at least eccentric, if not worse, despite the recent experience of global conflict and the first use of nuclear weapons. He was writing at about the time that Watson and Crick were discovering the double helical structure of DNA, and when Rachel Carson was publishing her book Silent Spring, which predicted the ecological catastrophe to come. Since then nothing has happened to distract from the salient truth that how we manage the planet and how we manage relations between each other are the two things on which eventually the security of health, wellbeing, and survival of the human species depend. As the world again dissolves into global conflict, we are reminded that public health must be involved in these most central of questions.
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