The Science and Politics of Pandemics
- 8:45 a.m. to 11:30a.m. -
- $10 – $30
- All Ages
Amid the present COVID-19 pandemic, it is useful and important to explore how pandemics provide an opportunity to address a variety of compelling scientific and political questions. This special two-week forum, led jointly by Ben Peterson Professor of Chemistry Maria Dean and Professor of Political Science Lynda Barrow, will examine pandemics past and present from the vantage points of a biochemist and a political scientist. From the 14th-century plague in Europe to the Ebola outbreaks of the early 21st century to the current COVID-19 moment, epidemics and pandemics offer a unique opportunity to consider a wide variety of significant scientific and political issues that leaders, countries and the international community face during moments of crisis. In the first week’s session, the presenters will define what constitutes a pandemic, which organisms and conditions make pandemics possible and why pandemics are a political as well as a scientific issue. The second session will discuss specific pandemics, examining in each case the science of the spread and containment as well as the political and public health responses.