In the Press

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A sobering look at childhood immunization in the March 1993 issue of The Atlantic shows how costly the 1980's were in terms of America's protection from common-disease epidemics. Citing figures from the Centers for Disease Control's recent overview of vaccination rates since 1985--the year the U.S. Immunization Survey was canceled--the article notes that the problem of unvaccinated youngsters has moved out of the inner-city and into the middle class.

"How can we be so good at teaching critical lessons about preventing needless epidemics to people in developing countries and ignore those lessons at home?'' it asks, giving a history of the country's many spurt-and-lapse attempts to immunize all preschool children.

The issue also includes an article debunking common reasons colleges give for "Why Tuitions Are So High''--and proposing instead that the "subsidization of corporate research'' by universities is largely to blame.

The article traces the growth in mutually beneficial university-corporate alliances to the passage in 1980 of a federal law allowing businesses to buy exclusive licenses to university-owned patents. Its argument that tuition hikes help grease the alliances' gears is one advanced by Ralph Nader.

Two academic journals have special issues out this month that thoughtfully examine the overlapping considerations policy planners face in dealing with the problems of children and youths.

Daedalus, the quarterly journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, devotes its winter issue to "America's Childhood.'' The articles range from weighty treatises on childhood poverty to a Boston psychologist's search--in varied socioeconomic locales--for the sources of childhood joy. Of special interest is "America's Children and Their Elementary Schools,'' by David K. Cohen and his Michigan State University colleague S.G. Grant.

Teacher's College Record, the quarterly from Teachers College, Columbia University, focuses on "Adolescence in the 1990's: Risk and Opportunities'' in its special Spring 1993 edition, due out this month. The issue builds on work done by the Carnegie Council for Adolescent Development and explores areas ranging from the effects of television and of school structure to the developmental struggles of today's young, particularly the school-to-work transition.

Single copies of both are available: "America's Childhood'' for $9.95 from Daedalus, Press Office, Suite 102, 136 Irving St., Cambridge, Mass. 02138, (617) 491-2600; and the spring Teachers College Record for $10 from Box 103, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027, (212) 678-3774.--S.K.G.

Vol. 12, Issue 23, Page 32

Published in Print: March 3, 1993, as In the Press
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