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The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men: Inspiration, Vision, and Purpose in the Quest to End Malaria

Bill Shore

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Prose: non-fiction, Science: general issues

Through the true story of two extraordinary scientists competing to develop a malaria vaccine, the renowned social activist who founded Share Our Strength -and author of The Cathedral Within-explores the qualities of character common to those driven to change what seems unchangeable, solve problems that seem intractable, or create what has never before been created.

A small cadre of scientists- collabourators and competitors- are determined to develop a vaccine for malaria, a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. Skepticism, doubt, and a host of logistical and financial obstacles dog their quest. Success may ultimately elude them. Why, and how, do they persist?The kind of person who decides to combat malaria must have a very rare combination of attributes: dogged enough to keep going when results are slow independent enough to continue, often alone, when other, more popular, causes distract attention from their work self-confident enough in the importance of the work to persist when the beneficiaries may reside thousands of miles distant. Above all, taking on a challenge of this scale requires a fearlessly bold moral imagination that defies reason. Bill Shore tells the story of man's attempt to combat malaria through the drama of the handful of scientists and organizations currently seeking to curb, and in one case, at least, cure, the world of this most ancient and persistent scourge. It is a drama to the death.The story of these uncompromising scientists serves as a springboard for Shore's passionate inquiry into the character and moral fabric of those who devote their lives to solving the world's most pressing and perplexing problems. During his career as a social entrepreneur Shore has persistently wrestled with this fundamental question: What does it take to make a truly transformational difference? To achieve not just incremental progress but a game changer or, in the case of malaria, a life saver? In this moving and inspiring book, he offers compelling answers.

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