COVID-19 Science & Coverage: The politics of the pandemic

October 06, 2020

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Science and science journalism are never just about what happens in a laboratory, and the COVID-19 pandemic has tangled the worlds of science and politics into some particularly spectacular knots. To make sense of this story, you've got to understand how politics has affected what we know (and don't know) about this virus, how public health campaigns are influenced by political trends, and how the needs of a pandemic have reshaped political goals. A journalist, a health advocate, and a scientist share views from the front lines of a political pandemic.

The session will be moderated by Maggie Koerth. Koerth is an award-winning senior science reporter at and a board member for the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Her work has long focused on the way science and society interact, and in particular on stories that illuminate where facts come from and how the results of scientific research get used in the real world. She has covered everything from efforts to predict where tornadoes will land, to the sex lives of pandas, to the difficulty of counting who has and hasn't died from COVID-19. @maggiekb1

Maryn McKenna is an award-winning independent journalist who specializes in public health, global health, and food policy, and a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University, where she teaches health and science writing and storytelling. She writes for The New York Times Magazine, WIRED, The New Republic, National Geographic, Mother Jones, Newsweek, NPR, Smithsonian, Scientific American, Slate, The Atlantic, Nature, and The Guardian, among other publications. @marynmck

Texas native Marsha Jones is co-founder and executive director of The Afiya Center, the only reproductive justice organization in North Texas founded and directed by Black women. In response to the pandemic, the center has pivoted into political battles over Medicaid expansion and against the reopening of the state. Jones is a national grassroots organizer, community mobilizer, professional speaker, and health educator with a commitment to transforming women and girls’ lives. @theafiyacenter

Disease ecologist Peter Daszak is president of EcoHealth Alliance, a US-based organization that conducts research and outreach programs on global health, conservation, and development. His work has been instrumental in identifying and predicting the origins and impact of emerging diseases across the globe. Daszak is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and a regular advisor on pathogen research to the WHO. The alliance lost its NIH funding this year when its research into bat coronaviruses in Wuhan, China, was caught up in President Trump's political rhetoric. @PeterDaszak

REGISTER for "Politics of the pandemic"

Wednesday, September 30 5:00-6:00 PM Eastern