Cameron University’s Wendy Whitman-Cobb authors new book, “The Politics of Cancer: Malignant Indifference”

Cameron University’s Wendy Whitman Cobb, assistant professor of political science, is the author of “The Politics of Cancer: Malignant Indifference,” a new book that examines how  political players attempt to fight cancer in the US.  In the 195-page volume, published by Praeger, Whitman-Cobb argues that while support for fighting cancer is largely bipartisan, cancer policy is largely unconnected and piecemeal. 

“Because of the political system we find ourselves in, creating and implementing a coherent and cohesive plan to fight cancer is nearly impossible in the United States,” says Whitman-Cobb. “The book was inspired by my dad’s fight with kidney cancer. Twelve years after his initial diagnosis and three years after discovering it had returned and spread, my dad is living with cancer today and benefiting from a clinical trial testing new approaches to the treatment of cancer.”

In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer. But finding a cure is not simply a frustrating challenge for medical science; there are political, social, and economic factors at play. “The Politics of Cancer: Malignant Indifference” enables readers to gain insight into the realities of science policy and the ways in which the federal government is both the source of funding for much of cancer research and often deficient in setting comprehensive and consistent anti-cancer policy. Readers will also come to understand how Congress, the president, the bureaucracy, and the cancer industry all share responsibility for the current state of cancer policy confusion and consider whether pharmaceutical companies, for-profit cancer treatment hospitals, and interest groups like the American Cancer Society have a personal incentive to keep the fight alive.

Whitman-Cobb argues that despite the so-called "war on cancer," no strategic, comprehensive government policy has been imposed, leading to an indecisive cancer policy that has significantly impeded cancer research.

Whitman-Cobb received a B.A. and M.A. in political science from the University of Central Florida. She earned a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida where she focused her research on the interaction of institutions with public policy. She is the author of “Unbroken Government: Success and Failure in Policymaking” and has published research in Congress and the Presidency, Space Policy, and the Journal of Political Science Education. She joined the Cameron faculty in August 2013.

###

#17-061

March 31, 2017