of patterns of migration coming into the United States, we could be in for some very important surprises,” she said. “People could be doing very well, and then suddenly take a big turn for the worse” in succeeding generations.
Dr. Berkman said she was particularly taken with Jack Shonkoff’s comment about the need for realistic social models when designing early-childhood interventions. “He didn’t say this, but I’ll say it—we can’t pretend that women are at home all the time and don’t work,” she said. If you assume “that families look the way they did in the 1950s, you are in for a very rude awakening.” Dr. Berkman called these speakers’ points “important wake-up calls” that give us no choice but to change. “They really call upon us to think about things in a different way.”
Thus the symposium will focus this afternoon on “a new way of doing business in order to make future progress in this area,” she said. That will involve some struggles, beginning with the challenges of doing multidisciplinary work. But that is to be expected, as Dr. Kington so aptly reminded the audience with his quote of Martin Luther King.