Harper's Bazaar (USA)


- Deeda Blair: Food, Flowers & Fantasy (Rizzoli New York) will be published in October 2022.

out collecting porcelain.” That was fun and great. That for the most part has been kept. I remember there was a couple that came over—Washington friends—and she walked in and said, “Oh, this living room is the most serene and peaceful.” And I said, “Yeah, I love this room, and I often read in here.” And a few minutes later, he came in. He said, “Well, you’ve got a lot of space to hang pictures.” But I don’t hang pictures because I don’t have the kind of pictures I want. And I love the emptiness.

I end up writing a great many letters in my life. And I like the serenity of [the space]. I require a bit of aloneness. I don’t want too loud, too packed, because I’m trying to learn things that are more difficult than I was educated to do.

I feel that there are so many new tools and new equipment now that need to be added to the neuroscien­ce vocabulary. Two years ago, I started giving awards, and the idea is thinking of the future and the next generation. Psychiatri­sts should have a knowledge of what is going on preclinica­lly and in the research labs because they’re going to be using it sooner than before. You look now at what people are thinking about in neuroscien­ce; they’re not just finding the right medication, they’re looking at a whole social and environmen­tal situation of the patient. They’re looking at, for example, inflammati­on in people who are depressed, and they’re looking at the immune system. We gave one grant [to a researcher] who works on autoimmuni­ty. A great many young people are interested in neuroscien­ce, thank God.

The figures are increasing so hugely right now with Covid, and so many more young people are having real problems. I think we’ve seen, in the last two years, a great many people take an interest in mental health. Historical­ly, federal money has been placed more on cancer research, heart research, and diabetes, but there’s a real need because now we do have more to do. But you need people who are inventive and want to explore things that have not been explored before.

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