James Hamblin Quotes

Who is James Hamblin?

James Hamblin is an American physician specializing in public health and preventive medicine. He is a staff writer at The Atlantic, author, and lecturer in public health policy at Yale University.

Hamblin is known for his books "If Our Bodies Could Talk: A Guide to Operating and Maintaining a Human Body" and "Clean: The New Science of Skin".

Born October 05, 1982

Books by James Hamblin


Best 19 Quotes by James Hamblin

Clean Quotes

“As we change our worlds, we change our bodies. The old duality between environmental health and human health is obsolete.”

Clean

“Capitalism sells nothing so effectively as status.”

Clean

“Even our most personal decisions about caring for our bodies have long been influenced and manipulated by larger power structures.”

Clean

“Health means different things to different people, but it’s always associated with a certain level of freedom — especially financial and temporal — that allows people to live well, and to focus on relationships and meaningful work.”

Clean

“If you really wanted to kill all the bacteria on your countertop, you’d have to leave a disinfectant (like Clorox) in contact with the surface for ten minutes. The product isn’t 'killing 99.9% of germs' in the way that anyone actually uses it — a quick wipe-down. This was, both in concept and in practice, misguided. And the magnitude of its effects on our lives is now starting to become clear.”

Clean

“Once you start hearing about all the things people do and don’t do, use and don’t use, couldn’t live with or without, standards of normalcy fade. Then you can focus on what actually matters to you.”

Clean

“Public health advocates are pressuring the FDA to ban parabens in products sold in the U.S. The European Union did this in 2012 — but the economic influence of industry on regulation in American politics makes this unlikely.”

Clean

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“Self and other is less of a dichotomy than a continuum.”

Clean

“The best advice right now is to think of hygiene as similar to medicine — extremely important in some scenarios, and also very possible to overdo.”

Clean

“The provisions in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act have not been updated since it was first enacted in 1938.”

Clean

“There are more microbial cells in and on each of us than human cells.”

Clean

“When the predators in the dinosaur park start killing one another, you’ve got a hit movie on your hands. When the immune system starts attacking the self, you get autoimmune diseases.”

Clean

“When we clean ourselves, we at least temporarily alter the microscopic populations — either by removing them or by altering the resources available to them. Even if we do not use cleaning products that specifically say they are 'antimicrobial', any chemistry applied to the skin will have some effect on the environment in which the microbes grow. Soaps and astringents meant to make us drier and less oily also remove the sebum on which microbes feed.

Because scientists and doctors didn’t have the technology to fully understand the number or importance of these microbes until recently, very little is known about what exactly they’re doing there. But as this new research elucidates the interplay of microbes and skin, it is challenging long-held beliefs about what is good and bad.”

Clean

If Our Bodies Could Talk Quotes

“A successful man is emotionally restrained, keeping things close to the vest, defending your position, being in control, etcetera. If your identity is so wrapped around being that way that it prevents you from doing other things — connecting, disclosing, showing vulnerability, giving up control — you aren’t developing those skills. I think guys need extra attention to this because they are working against the societally defined Male Code.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk

Products by James Hamblin

“Forming an Adam’s apple requires testosterone, and that usually means functioning test*cles. When we look up at a billboard in Times Square featuring a man with a large Adam’s apple, we are essentially being shown a demonstration of test*cular aptitude. 'Buy this product', the ad is saying, 'and you’ll have good test*cles'.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk

“Just because we don’t know everything doesn’t mean that we know nothing.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk

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“If we can accept as true that life circumstances are not the keys to happiness, we'll be greatly empowered to pursue happiness for ourselves.”

The How of Happiness


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“Preventable illness influences and is influenced by education, employment, the environment, and the economy.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk

“The fundamental construct of self and other is becoming untenable.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk

“The region of Westmont in South L.A. has a life expectancy ten years lower than across town in Culver City.”

If Our Bodies Could Talk