Contributing Writers

John Bell

John Bell is a co-founder and director of The Conciliators Guild, an initiative dedicated to highlighting the role of underlying human motivations in politics.


Co-authored with John Zada (Originally appeared on January 1, 2018 in Los Angeles Review of Books).
Increasingly, propagandists, media executives, and internet moguls are using new technology to turn our attention into a commodity for profit.

Margaret A. Caudill-Slosberg

Margaret Caudill-Slosberg, MD, PhD, MPH, was formerly Adjunct Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth College and Instructor in Anesthesiology, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. She has a longstanding interest in pain management and mind/body interactions and is the author of Managing Pain Before it Manages You. Dr. Caudill-Slosberg served as the lead pain specialist in the Kenya Heart and Sole project, University of Massachusetts Boston, developing pain management prevention and treatment strategies for the team. She currently assists patients in in medication-assisted-treatment of opioid addiction and nourishes her interest in public health through Emergency Management.


It’s important to understand how poverty is the antithesis of health and why eradicating it is critical to achieving good health for the globe and its population.

At least 21 million extra lives were saved due to the accelerated progress in reducing child mortality and malaria, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.

Better birth spacing from expanding availability of contraception can reduce maternal mortality by 30% and child mortality by 20%.

Global health has taken on an increased sense of urgency in the face of our shrinking planet and the impacts of global warming.

George Kasabov

George Kasabov was born in Bulgaria and lives in England. An architect and product designer, he has taught at universities around the world, including University College London (UCL), Harvard and Princeton. He has worked on environmental and sustainability issues since the early 1970s.


Money attempts to make indeterminate qualities of our experience fit neatly into quantities that can be counted and compared to standard units, where everything is valued against a sum of money.

The Bank of England declares that “Money is a kind of IOU which is universally trusted.” The question which has occupied thinkers since money was first invented: What are the necessary preconditions to this trust?

Today every transaction can be tracked by central authority. This cedes tremendous power to government and the banks. Whether this is used for good or for ill depends on how our politics evolves.

Financiers and the owners of capital have found new ways to extract money without adding value to the rest of the economy. They’re not the only ones “taking” not “making.” Top people in commerce and industry have learned to do it too.

Featured Book Reports

7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist
A report on the book by Kate Raworth

A “renegade economist” advances a new, more comprehensive and regenerative economic model based on a view of humans as socially adaptable beings in a world of limited natural resources.

A report on the book by Thomas Piketty

A leading economist documents the trend of income inequality through history, stressing that the way an economy functions is directly related to a power structure that is determined and maintained by the few who hold the wealth.


Featured Book Report

How Human Values Evolve
A report on the book by Ian Morris

The amount of energy that can be extracted from the environment through technology, says Morris, defines the social possibilities and influences the attitudes and world view of each epoch.


Featured Book Report

Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
A report on the book by Charles C. Mann

How the post-Columbian network of ecological and economic exchange fostered the rise of Europe, devastated imperial China, convulsed Africa, and sowed the seeds of today’s fiercest political disputes.

Sally Mallam

Sally Mallam is the executive director of The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge. She is also a founder and executive editor of the The Human Journey project and founder and Director of ISHK literacy and publishing programs. She is also an artist who has exhibited in the U.S. and Britain. Born in the UK, she spent 15 years in international business and publishing prior to coming to the U.S. Her primary research focus in recent years has been the role of religion and spirituality in the development of human societies. She is the author of The Human Journey’s comprehensive overview of the impact of religious ideas throughout history.


About 35,000 years ago, our ancestors first began to conceive of a tiered cosmos and to formulate rituals to engage influential forces above and below—an idea that has been with us ever since.

Connecting with the Gods

From the Neolithic Era through the development of early civilizations, the relationship between people and their god(s) was of primary importance all over the world.

Understanding how religious traditions evolved and intermingled sheds light on contemporary beliefs and rituals, the forces that shape human thought, and our mind’s great potential for change and development.

Jesus: Origins of Christianity

Like all the Axial prophets and teachers, his aim was spiritual revitalization—a new “kingdom” in which those who listened and followed could fulfill their potential and destiny.

The Roman Empire was a melting pot of cultures, each with its own stories, myths, legends and beliefs—many of which live on in contemporary Christian beliefs and ritual.

Mohammad: Origins of Islam

The decline in traditional values was an existential threat to his tribe. Muhammad’s insight was that social reform had to be based on a new spiritual foundation.

Featured Book Report

From Shamans to Priests to Prophets
A report on the book by Stephen K. Sanderson

Why are there are so many different types of religion and how and why has religion evolved over time? The answer lies in both our biological and our sociocultural evolution.

David Sobel, MD, MPH

David S. Sobel, MD, MPH, Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine and former Medical Director of Patient Education and Health Promotion for The Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente Northern California. He practiced adult primary care medicine at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Offices in San Jose. He has worked with the Stanford Patient Education Research Center on the development and evaluation of the Stanford Chronic Disease Self-Management Program. He is coauthor of eight books including Living a Healthy Life with Chronic ConditionsLiving a Healthy Life with Chronic PainThe Healing BrainHealthy PleasuresMind & Body Health Handbook, and What’s the Catch? How to Avoid Getting Hooked and Manipulated. He is recipient of the national Healthtrac Foundation Health Education Award, the Kaiser Permanente James A Vohs Award for Quality and Exceptional Contribution Award, and Honorary Fellow of the Society for Public Health Education.


Some 95% of the trillions of dollars the US spends on health care goes to medical services and just 5% to population-wide approaches to health improvement – a clear misalignment with what we know about the true determinants of health.

The vast majority of all care is provided not by medical professionals but by people for themselves and their families.

The majority of Americans report unhealthy stress levels, but more impactful than the stress itself is how people feel about it.

John Zada

John Zada is a writer, journalist and photographer based in Toronto who covers travel, culture and the Middle East. He is blogs at Al Bab and The Planisphere, and is one of the directors of The Conciliators Guild, an initiative dedicated to highlighting the role of underlying human motivations in politics.


Co-authored with John Bell. Originally appeared on January 1, 2018 in Los Angeles Review of Books.
Increasingly, propagandists, media executives, and internet moguls are using new technology to turn our attention into a commodity for profit.

Featured Book Reports


A report on the book by Paul Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein

Originally appeared on June 27, 2012 in The Toronto Review of Books.
Over millions of years, our minds evolved with quick reflexes to deal with sudden threats. Our survival now requires that we consciously evolve a new mind and new perceptions to adapt.

A report on the book by Jonathan Haidt

Originally appeared in “From the bookshelf” in Human Givens, 2018, vol 25, no 1.
We live in an era of polarized thinking. But could positions of both side have roots in common moral foundations?

Many other dedicated ISHK members and friends continue to provide crucial research, writing, and editorial support for The Human Journey.

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