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 is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.