Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist who has fought for stronger public well being care infrastructure all over the world, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Berggruen Prize.
The $1 million prize, which is awarded yearly to individuals who “have profoundly formed human self-understanding and development in a quickly altering world,” went to the physician in recognition of his management associated to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Dr. Farmer’s name to enhance public well being programs is a matter not solely of science but additionally of politics, economics and ethics,” Amy Gutmann, a contest juror and the president of the College of Pennsylvania, stated in a information launch. “On this disaster, like those that preceded it, our information far outpaces our will to place efficient options into motion.”
Dr. Farmer, who has labored within the area for many years, helped discovered Companions in Well being, a Boston-based nonprofit centered on bettering well being care in resource-poor communities, in 1987. As he has traveled the globe, he has accrued accolades: Dr. Farmer was a 1993 MacArthur Fellow and acquired the Nationwide Academy of Sciences’s 2018 Public Welfare Medal. He has been the chair of the Division of International Well being and Social Drugs at Harvard Medical Faculty since 2009.
“He has reshaped our understanding not simply of what it means to be sick or wholesome, but additionally of what it means to deal with well being as a human proper and the moral and political obligations that comply with,” stated Kwame Anthony Appiah, the chairman of the prize committee and a professor at New York College who writes The New York Occasions’s Ethicist column.
All through his profession, Dr. Farmer has helped present remedies for Ebola, tuberculosis, H.I.V. and AIDs in “scientific deserts” like Haiti, Rwanda and Peru. He additionally wrote 12 books — most not too long ago “Fevers, Feuds, and Diamonds,” wherein he dissected the structural inequalities that worsened Ebola’s unfold and the ways in which the 2014 outbreak was not inevitable. He was additionally the topic of the 2017 documentary “Bending the Arc.”
“As each thinker and actor, Dr. Paul Farmer has related the philosophical articulation of human rights to the sensible pursuit of well being,” stated Nicolas Berggruen, the chairman of the institute.