In his first Reith lecture, Martin Rees discussed the "scientific citizen". How we proceed in areas such as genetics, brain science and artificial intelligence ought to involve the views of the public, he said.
A patient's health condition doesn't pay attention to whether or not there is a recession. Nor does a patient's health condition react or respond to whether or not there is a national debt crisis or a Budget deficit.
Clinical research has been at the heart of the National Health Service since its inception. Patients and their families expect doctors to be able to recommend treatment on the basis of firm knowledge of what is best for them.
Fascinating though this election campaign has been, the debates on health have been largely predictable.
There's something horribly Victorian about the phrase "maternal mortality" - the idea that giving birth is still, routinely, a life-threatening activity. But
Worldwide, the cosmetics industry is booming. In Italy the industry is worth €9bn each year.
When did you last meet someone with polio? It's possible that you never have.
"This is what change looks like," declared Barack Obama late on Sunday 21 March after his healthcare bill was approved by the House of Representatives. Change, it turns out, is a messy business.
So it looks like it might not be the biscuits, after all.
The Millennium Development Goals have always had a looming menace, even when the deadline was comfortably far away.
Apparently, cigarettes aren't all that good for you. Which may not come as the most enormous shock, what with the half-century that's already been spent looking into the 50 or so diseases to which tobacco is linked.
America's abandoned state mental hospitals, the subject of this project by the photographer Christopher Payne, aren't so much a "closed world" as a lost one.
The phrase "domestic violence" tends to dictate the way that we think about the physical, sexual and psychological abuses that partners visit on one another.
Why do so many people buy into what you call "the cult of positive thinking"?
In 1948, when the National Health Service was born, its structures were designed to provide reliable and comprehensive medical treatment for everyone, dealing with health emergencies and one-off illness.