Monday, 4 April 2016

Henry Harpending has died

Henry was a valued penfriend and semi-colleague over the past several years - and I was extremely pleased to be asked to contribute a blurb to his 2009 book The 10,000 Year Explosion, co-authored with Greg Cochran - since I regard this as one of the most significant volumes of evolutionary biology of the past generation.

He was also an important figure in developing the Life History approach to studying human behaviour.

Furthermore, Henry seemed to me a person of unusual decency and human warmth; in the face of even more than the usual share of political correctness witch-hunting experienced by honest researchers into in human evolution, he exhibited strength but without any detectable bitterness.

NOTE: I was last in contact with Henry in the autumn of last year, when he told me that he had suffered significant and permanent brain damage from an insidious and undetected brain bleed as a consequence of taking the new anticoagulant Xarelto/ Rivaroxaban.

This is a known side effect of this agent that has been all-but concealed from physicians and users (presumably for the usual marketing reasons).

I mention this so that others may profit from Henry's appalling experience, and learn to be much more distrustful of the claims for new and still patent-protected pharmaceutical agents.