Statistics for the People

This essay is reproduced here as it appeared in the print edition of the original Science for the People magazine. These web-formatted archives are preserved complete with typographical errors and available for reference and educational and activist use. Scanned PDFs of the back issues can be browsed by headline at the website for the 2014 SftP conference held at UMass-Amherst. For more information or to support the project, email

Statistics for the People

by The Editorial Collective

‘Science for the People’ Vol. 3, No. 2, May 1971, p. 23

In 1969 major industrial polluters spent one billion dollars to advertise their efforts at pollution control-ten times more than all U.S. companies spent for air pollution control devices in the same period.
(The Sciences, 1, no. 1, Jan. 1971, New York Academy of Sciences)

The U.S. has only 1.5 doctors per 1000 population, seventh highest in the world.
(David Spiegal, Conversion to Decent Medical Care, 1971 taken from Vital Statistics in the U.S., H.E.W. 1968)

In 1943 in the cities there was one doctor for every 500 persons. Today there is one for every 20,000 persons. That means the emergency rooms of public hospitals are handling all sorts of health problems that used to be taken care of by the family doctor.
(Dr. Joseph English, former Peace Corps psychiatrist, quoted in the Boston Globe, February 1971)

Only 6% of all employed chemists in the U.S. are women. These women earned a salary approximately 70% of the salary of similar male chemists.
(Amer. Chern. Soc. survey of employment and wages, quoted in Industrial Research, Jan. 1971, p. 7)

Each mile of the proposed Alaskan pipeline will contain 500,000 barrels of oil travelling at 7 mph. Only 12 shut-off valves are planned along the 789 mile route (65 mi. apart) so a break could produce an oil spill amounting to the equivalent of more than 120 Santa Barbara spills.
( Friends of the Earth, N.Y. Times, Feb. 17, 1971, p.25)

While the recipient of the greatest number of dollars per capita in American foreign aid, Laos, between 1966 and 1967, suffered the highest per capita casualty rate in the world and endured the heaviest per square mile bombing in history.
(Indochina: 1971, The Requirements for Peace, An AFSC White Paper, quoted in TASC Newsletter, Feb. 1971)

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