Explicator of Incest Taboo, Claude Levi-Strauss, Dies from Cardiac Arrest

Praised by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France as an “indefatigable humanist,” Claude Levi-Strauss’ 100th birthday was celebrated in 25 countries on 28 November 2008. He died from cardiac arrest on 30 October 2009 less than a month before his 101st birthday.

Levi-Strauss was an anthropologist who advanced the idea, 40 years ago, that cultural diversity is a positive attribute of human societies. The Director-General of UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) said that Levi-Strauss’ theories “changed the way people perceived each other, striking down such divisive concepts as race and opening the way for a new vision based on recognition of the common bond of humanity.”

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Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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