An excerpt:

The complexity of parasite lives breeds awareness of what we don’t know or understand; that is, it reveals our ignorance, now easily recognized, and finally admitted. And like the case with political rhetoric in which one word can compress history into a simple emotional response—think “slavery”—infectious agents teach us that complexity associated with parasitism cannot truly be simplified or compressed into a single word. “Malaria” is just a word, yet it conveys a massively complex universe of disease, pathology, immunity, economics, history, demographics, cultural factors associated with treatment and prevention, political consequences, and evolution. The same could be said of today’s hot button words--abortion, immigration, LGBTQ--although you might never know that from media coverage of current issues or your neighbor’s yard signs before an election.

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Varner Prof Emeritus, Univ Nebr-Lincoln, author 20+ books, non-fiction and fiction, 100+ scientific papers, Distinguished Teaching Award, Past President American Society of Parasitologists