OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma may settle legal claims with a new 'public trust' that would still be dedicated to profit

The government has tried to harness profit-driven drugmaking to serve public health before. The results were underwhelming.

David Herzberg, Associate Professor of History, University at Buffalo • conversation
Oct. 21, 2020 ~10 min

Contact tracing's long, turbulent history holds lessons for COVID-19

Trust in the confidentiality of contact tracing broke down during the AIDS epidemic. Today, it's faltering again.

Ronald Bayer, Professor Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University • conversation
July 16, 2020 ~10 min

5 ways the world is better off dealing with a pandemic now than in 1918

A century ago, the influenza pandemic killed about 50 million people. Today we are battling the coronavirus pandemic. Are we any better off? Two social scientists share five reasons we have to be optimistic.

Eva Kassens-Noor, Associate Professor, Urban & Regional Planning Program and Global Urban Studies Program, Michigan State University • conversation
June 19, 2020 ~9 min

The cholera outbreak in a Victorian asylum that anticipated the coronavirus crisis in care homes

There is a sad precedent of pandemic disease threatening the residents of care institutions – and of authorities not heeding the dangers.

Chris Wilson, Lecturer in History, University of East Anglia • conversation
May 19, 2020 ~15 min

Rewilding: lessons from the medieval Baltic crusades

The Baltic crusades had a long term impact on the local environment – 700 years later, the details of this are clear.

Rowena Banerjea, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Reading • conversation
May 11, 2020 ~8 min

Patient zero: why it's such a toxic term

Why we should wash our hands of this unhealthy phrase.

Richard McKay, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge • conversation
April 1, 2020 ~23 min

Calling COVID-19 a 'Chinese virus' is wrong and dangerous – the pandemic is global

Emphasizing foreign origins of a disease can have racist connotations and implications for how people understand their own risk of disease.

Mari Webel, Assistant Professor of History, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
March 25, 2020 ~10 min

When restaurants close, Americans lose much more than a meal

Restaurants have always been about more than feeding city residents. During the 1918 flu pandemic, they were kept open as sites of social solidarity.

Rebecca L. Spang, Professor of History and Director, Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP), Indiana University • conversation
March 20, 2020 ~8 min

10 misconceptions about the 1918 flu, the 'greatest pandemic in history'

The so-called 'Spanish flu' didn't actually come from Spain. What else do people often misunderstand about this famous crisis?

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University • conversation
March 17, 2020 ~9 min

Climate change: how Senegal's colonial history made it more vulnerable

We need to understand colonial histories to understand climate risks.

Nick Bernards, Assistant Professor of Global Sustainable Development, University of Warwick • conversation
March 6, 2020 ~7 min

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