Over the past 16 years, Dr. Samantha Nutt – currently the executive director of War Child Canada – has worked in such wartorn countries as Somalia, Iraq and Liberia. And in her book Damned Nations: Greed, Guns, Armies & Aid, which will be published in October, she reflects on humanitarian concerns: What is the ultimate goal of aid? What should people know about an organization before making a donation? How do Canadians influence armed conflicts in other countries?
Nutt, who holds post-grad degrees in community and family medicine from U of T and is an assistant prof at the university, also explains what it truly means to do good – showing the devastation that can be generated by well-intentioned but inexperienced groups. She also takes some corporations to task: What could be wrong with big business donating surplus goods to Africa? Corporations get a charitable receipt (even if goods were made in sweatshops in China) and garner some nice publicity – but hundreds of thousands of textile jobs in Africa are lost due to the used-clothing trade.
Damned Nations includes the stories of those who have suffered in conflict zones, and Nutt urges the reader to view people in these areas respectfully: “They confound every western stereotype of the hopeless, helpless victim waiting for us to rescue her. They seek justice not charity, solidarity not pity, and opportunity not handouts.”
By bringing artificial intelligence into chemistry, Prof. Aspuru-Guzik aims to vastly shrink the time it takes to develop new drugs – and almost everything else