Stop counting blueberries

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I was excited to hear that Sandro Galea took the mantle at the Boston University School of Public Health. I’m more excited that he’s using that perch to shape discussions about how we can improve the public’s health.

Far too much university research and funding, Dr. Galea said, is dedicated to making increasingly precise tallies for relatively minor issues. Instead of paying researchers to count how many blueberries per day may cut the risk of heart attacks, Dr. Galea said, universities and their funders could more systematically identify and tackle the root causes of social problems — such as tolerance of violent attitudes, indifference to environmental concerns, and large and persistent gaps in wealth, education, and economic opportunity.