September 22, 2020
Today I discuss COVID-19 and the difficulties with counting and memorializing the dead in a pandemic with Jacqueline Wernimont.
Jacqueline Wernimont is Distinguished Chair of Digital Humanities and Social Engagement & Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College
She is an anti-racist, feminist scholar working toward greater justice in digital cultures and a network weaver across humanities, arts, and sciences.
Her efforts to understand computing cultures and advance more just approaches extends beyond the writing of traditional academic books into public, engaged scholarship. This has included writing for popular outlets, multimedia installations, and leading projects on privacy, intersectional approaches to technology and data, and creative communication of computing infrastructures.
Her first book, Numbered Lives: Life and Death in Quantum Media came out with MIT Press in 2019—it uses a two-part structure to historicize the counting of life and death in Britain and the United States. She is also the co-editor of the recent Bodies of Information: Intersectional Feminism and Digital Humanities (with Elizabeth Losh).
September 18, 2020
Today I discuss recent COVID-19 battles in the courts with Kathy Bergin and Lindsay Wiley.
Kathy Bergin is a recognized expert in Disaster Law, she presently teaches at Cornell University Law School—her research extends to humanitarian aid programs and the catastrophic impact of climate change. She has been crucial in promoting Disaster Law as an academic discipline. She is also a successful advocate. Her team in Haiti established binding precedent in a proceeding before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that reinforced post-disaster human rights obligations. Her work on mass evacuation shelters after Hurricane Katrina is used across the humanitarian sector as a blue-print for protecting displaced survivors. And her knowledge of constitutional standards helped coalition partners in Puerto Rico secure changes in the federal government’s response to Hurricane Maria. She is on the steering committee for Project Blueprint, a policy advocacy organization aimed at promoting a progressive US foreign policy.
Lindsay Wiley is a professor of law and director of the health law and policy program at American University Washington College of Law. She is the author of Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint and Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader (with Lawrence O. Gostin). Her recent work on the coronavirus pandemic has been published in the Washington Post, Democracy: A Journal, the American Constitution Society’s Expert Forum, and the Harvard Law Review Forum. Professor Wiley is a board member and former president of the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics and a former member of the National Conference of Lawyers and Scientists. She received her JD from Harvard and her MPH from Johns Hopkins.
September 18, 2020
Today I discuss the compound disaster of wildland fire and smoke and COVID-19 with Luke Montrose.
Dr. Luke Montrose is an environmental toxicologist with research interests in public health, epigenetics, and chronic illness, particularly as it relates to vulnerable and understudied populations.
As an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Environmental Health at Boise State University, Dr. Montrose is positioning himself to work collaboratively across campus and across Idaho with relevant stakeholders, including faculty, state and local officials, and community partners. The Montrose Lab leverages expertise in epigenetics, community research, and exposure assessment to better understand the molecular basis of toxicant-induced disease risk throughout the lifecourse.
Dr. Montrose’s research portfolio reflects his passion for studying human health through multiple lenses, ranging from community health to molecular biology. His recent studies have used cutting edge technology to measure exposure-induced epigenetic changes related to diet, air pollution, heavy metals and endocrine disrupting chemicals, and related these changes to humans and animal health effects.
September 16, 2020
Today I discuss data visualization, COVID-19, and risk communication with Alex Wellerstein.
Alex Wellerstein is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Science and Technology Studies Program at the Stevens Institute of Technology. He has a PhD in the History of Science, and his research interests are primarily in the history of nuclear technology. His book, Restricted Data: The History of Nuclear Secrecy in the United States, will be available from the University of Chicago Press in early 2021. He is the creator of the NUKEMAP online nuclear weapons simulator, and taught courses on data visualization for social purposes for many years. He is also a co-PI for the Reinventing Civil Defense Project,
sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, which is tasked with developing a holistic approach to nuclear threat
September 15, 2020
Today I discuss the pandemic with two physicians based in Texas.
Dr. Bonnie Rawot is an Infectious Disease specialist practicing in Dallas, TX since 1996. She is the Medical Director, Infection Prevention and Control for Medical City Dallas Hospital. She was the Medical coordinator for our hospital's COVID 19 response. Medical School: State University of New York at Buffalo 1986-1990. Residency in Internal Medicine: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis 1990-1993. Fellowship in Infectious Disease, Washington University School of Medicine, 1993-1995.
Dr. Chris Straughn practices general pediatrics with Forest Lane Pediatrics in Dallas, Texas. He has been in practice there since 2003 after completing his pediatrics residency and chief residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and completed his undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University. Dr. Straughn served as Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Medical City Children’s Hospital in 2011 and 2012 and has been selected as one of the best pediatricians in Dallas by D Magazine nine times. He has also been recognized as a Mom-Approved Doctor by DFW Child Magazine since 2012. Dr. Straughn lives in Lakewood with his wife and four sons. He enjoys golf, reading, cooking, traveling, and being active with his kids as a coach and spectator for their youth sports.
September 14, 2020
Today I discuss the wildfires in OR and CA with Erica Kuligowski, Jim Whittington, and Erica Fischer.
Erica Fischer, PhD, PE is an Assistant Professor of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University. Dr. Fischer’s research interests revolve around innovative approaches to improve the resilience and robustness of structural systems affected by natural and man-made hazards. She has led a team of multi-disciplinary scientists in post-wildfire reconnaissance in Paradise, California. Dr. Fischer sits on the Board of Directors of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute, and is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Fire Protection Committee.
Dr. Erica Kuligowski is a Sociologist and Fire Protection Engineer. From 2002 to 2020, Dr. Kuligowski worked as a Group Leader, Research Social Scientist and Engineer in the Engineering Laboratory at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Dr. Kuligowski has expertise in decision-making and response behavior under imminent threat, emergency communications, and evacuation modeling. In October of this year, she will move to Melbourne, Australia and join the Engineering School at RMIT University as a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow studying evacuation and bushfires.
Jim Whittington a PIO for over 20 years and now a consultant with Incident Services, has responded to over 90 large and complex wildfires. He has been the spokesperson for incidents of national and international interest, including the Cerro Grande, Rodeo-Chedeski, Wallow, and Yarnell Hill fires. He also worked with media as part of the Granite Mountain Hot Shots Memorial Service team and led the PIO function for the Iron 44 Memorial Service.
Whittington is a qualified Lead Instructor for a number of FEMA and National Wildfire Coordinating Group classes. Whittington has worked for the National Archives and Records Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, United States Forest Service, National Park Service, and the BLM.
September 12, 2020
Today, on September 11, I talk with fire science professor and disaster investigation expert Glenn Corbett.
Glenn Corbett is an Associate Professor of Fire Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he was the former chair of the Department Of Protection Management. He is a technical editor of Fire Engineering magazine and is a former Assistant Chief of the Waldwick, New Jersey Fire Department. And former president of the New Jersey Society of Fire Service Instructors.
Corbett testified before the 9/11 Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee regarding the emergency response and building safety issues of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. He served on the Federal Advisory Committee of the National Construction Safety Team which investigated the World Trade Center disaster as well as Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island. In addition, he continues to serve as the chief technical advisor to the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, a building safety advocacy group created by 9/11 family members.
Corbett is a co-author of Brannigan’s Building Construction for the Fire Service, 6th Edition. In addition, he is the editor of Fire Engineering’s Handbook for Firefighter I and II. He also has an avid interest in firefighting and history, authoring The Great Paterson Fire of 1902 and co-authoring Historic Fires of New York City.
September 11, 2020
Can we actually learn anything from disasters? Today, I talk about the ways disaster researchers study the past and think about the present with Andy Horowitz and Jacob Remes.
Jacob Remes is a clinical associate professor of history at New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, where he directs the nascent Initiative for Critical Disaster Studies. Author of Disaster Citizenship: Survivors, Solidarity, and Power in the Progressive Era (University of Illinois Press, 2016). He is the co-editor, with Andy Horowitz, of the forthcoming Critical Disaster Studies: New Perspectives on Disaster, Vulnerability, Resilience, and Risk.
Andy Horowitz is assistant professor of History at Tulane University. His much-anticipated book is out, Katrina: A History—1915-2015 and getting a lot of great coverage and he has another project on the emerging field of disaster studies. His writing has appeared in the Journal of Southern History, Southern Cultures, Historical Reflections, the Journal of American History, The Atlantic, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
September 9, 2020
Today I talk about the issues surrounding a COVID-19 vaccine with Emily Brunson and Monica Schoch-Spana.
Emily Brunson is an applied anthropologist specializing in medical anthropology. She received an MPH in epidemiology and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Washington in Seattle. Her primary research focus is health care access and decision-making, and particularly how policies, social structures (including class and racial inequalities), social networks and personal experience combine to produce health outcomes for individuals. Currently she is developing research plans and conducting policy outreach in relation to COVID-19 vaccination and working on a study of COVID-19 vaccination knowledge, attitudes and behavior among college students.
Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana is a medical anthropologist, is a Senior Scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a Senior Scientist in the Department of Environmental Health & Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. She also holds faculty positions at the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University and the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START).
National advisory roles include currently serving on the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Resilient America Roundtable of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), and the NASEM Standing Committee on Medical and Public Health Research during Large-Scale Emergency Events.
From 2003 to 2017, Dr. Schoch-Spana worked at the UPMC Center for Health Security; prior to that she worked at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies, starting in 1998.
September 9, 2020
Today we will talk with Graham Mooney and Christos Lynteris.
Christos Lynteris is a medical anthropologist, and senior lecture at the Univ. of St. Andrews in the UK. His research focuses on the anthropological and historical examination of epidemics, zoonosis, epidemiological epistemology, medical visual culture, colonial medicine, and epidemics as events posing an existential risk to humanity.
Dr Lynteris' new project (2019-2024) The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis will examine the global history of a foundational but historically neglected process in the development of scientific approaches of zoonosis: the global war against the rat (1898-1948).
Dr Lynteris' recently completed project Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic (2013-2018) collected and analysed photographs and other visual documents of the third plague pandemic (1855-1959).
For updates on Christos Lynteris' Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis and Visual Representations of the Third Plague Pandemic projects: @visualplague
Graham Mooney is an Associate Professor in the Dept of the History of Medicine at JHU. He has an adjunct appointment in the School of Public Health Dept of Epidemiolgy.
His book Intrusive Interventions: Public Health, Domestic Space, and Infectious Disease Surveillance in England 1840-1914 (University of Rochester Press, 2015), examines the history of public health interventions such as infectious disease notification, institutional and domestic isolation, disinfection, and contact tracing under late 19th/early 20th century liberalism. The book I'm working on right now is Harm City: Health and Injustice in Urban America is based on a class that I teach at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I use a case study of race and class politics in Baltimore that explore the fracturing of public health systems and policy in neo-liberal American cities.