Dorothy Robinson


Dorothy Robinson
associate director, and


Fired up.

This is how I feel after my time in Aspen. And that is the whole point of the Aspen Scholars program — to help ignite a spark that will inform and inspire your work going forward. The passion and intelligence of the speakers and attendees was so infectious; I still feel the energy of the festival a month later. I expect I’ll feel it always.

And while it was beneficial to get to meet and learn about others who also work in global human health, it was especially poignant for me to spend more time with our very own Merck for Mothers team. I’ve always been drawn to its mission — which is focused on improving the health and well-being of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth — but witnessing them in action was amazing.

I deeply believe we have to give every child a chance at a good life. And the best way to do that is to make sure his or her mother is there, every step of the way. It is critical we keep mothers not only alive, but healthy, for the good of humanity.

Of course, it’s easy to tell people that. But what if we could show them?

That's why the early morning hike through the Colorado mountains the Merck for Mothers team organized for fellow attendees of the Aspen Ideas Festival was so apt. The walk symbolized what many heavily-pregnant women all over the world have to undertake in order to get to safe and clean places to deliver their babies. Many women don’t make it and deliver on the side of the road; many die, leaving their other children without their moms.

We can do more. We have to do more. For children. For women. For our world. The Merck for Mothers team is up for that challenge. I am forever changed by my time at the Aspen Ideas Festival. And I’m thrilled to now have that knowledge and insight I gained as I continue my small part in Merck’s mission of Inventing for Life.