The Lead Hypothesis

If you’re really tired of contemporary politics and want to read something very different with vast political implications, check out Kevin Drum’s fascinating article for MoJo on the growing evidence that violent crime and all sorts of behavioral problems are highly associated with the existence (and persistence) of lead in the environment. As someone who spent years working in the crime policy area and exploring some of the more conventional theories for how to reduce violence and incarceration, Kevin’s piece has hit me like a thunderbolt, and I’ll be mulling it over for a while.

Note the summary and appreciation of Drum’s piece at Ten Miles Square by Mark Kleiman, who has forgotten more about the intersection of science and crime policy than I’ll ever know.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.