“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” –Thomas A. Edison

Good laws make good societies
As ordinary citizens, we don’t spend much time reading about and thinking through the creation of new laws or amendments of old ones. We forget that the main constitutional responsibility of the politicians we vote for is law making, and oversight of the executive to implement those laws. During election campaigns, we don’t hear a single voter mention this aspect of the legislator’s role. Most are concerned with local issues, which they feel helpless to address, and expect the politician to personally deliver on. Yet, it is good laws that make for the good, functional society that most voters crave. Good laws are fair, do not discriminate against any group and are reasonably implementable. These create the very bedrock, on which society and the government can maintain co-operation and peace; be more productive and reach for higher goals. Bad laws, on the other hand, can harass and persecute innocent people; put the burden of proof on the citizen instead of on the accuser or the state; give excessive punishment; and create an atmosphere of fear. They also create opportunities for rent seeking and corruption by putting excessive discriminatory power into the hands of enforcing authorities. Once in a while, the broader middle classes get agitated and rightfully express rage and helplessness. This creates the environment for passing newer, harsher laws or amendments for terrible crimes. Unfortunately, there is little evidence that more severe punishment in the law acts as enough deterrence for future similar crimes. Societies have debated the severity of punishment for vile acts over millennia, with complex moral arguments on both sides of the question. Maybe it is time to reflect and reimagine what issues belong to society to address, and which must fall to the state to uphold. Meanwhile, let’s communicate strongly to our legislators. Let’s hold lawmakers accountable to draft, to pass and to uphold good laws that work for citizens and not against them.
Muhammad Askari,

The future of health is bright
As we approach the two-year mark of a global pandemic, one thing is certain: Nothing is more important than our health. We’ve gone (and continue to go) through turbulent societal changes with the Covid-19 pandemic – so much so that 2022 feels more like a bumpy landing from 2021 than a smooth take-off into a new year. Despite that, if you research health from all angles, you’ll be grateful to have visibility that gives something we all need right now: hope for the future. The past several years have seen miraculous developments, many a result of the pandemic’s forcing function. An effective vaccine was created. Virtual care boomed, and the patient-medical professional dynamic has been positively disrupted, allowing more folks to get the care that they need. Wearable technologies, like fitness trackers and continuous glucose monitors, are monitoring important health metrics in ways we never thought imaginable, providing a feedback loop necessary to take actions to improve our overall well-being. We’ve also seen underrepresented and historically marginalised communities engaging with wellness technology, especially when it’s designed for them. Mental health is also a key area where innovation is exploding, and with good reason. Exciting breakthroughs in psychedelic research are showing promising results, and we’re examining why sensitivity to trauma will be transformative to our mental health moving forward. These are complicated and nuanced issues, of course. AI screenings for early detection of cancer are promising, and the health sector is following the path to wider access and application. The impact of a warming world and climate change also continue to loom large especially for marginalised communities, but the health sector is exploring innovations that may be pivotal in combating the health impacts of climate change and building a sustainable food supply chain. Perhaps most importantly: Within each of these features, the health sector is sharing suggestions to take action to empower you to actively live your healthiest life for yourself, and your community.
Maryam Ahsan,