Episode 270

What Have We Learned from the Pandemic?

A Conversation with Nicholas Christakis

December 14, 2021

In this episode, Sam Harris speaks with Nicholas Christakis about the lessons of the COVID pandemic. They discuss our failures to coordinate an effective response, the politics surrounding vaccination, vaccine efficacy, vaccine safety, how to think about scientific controversies, the epidemiology of excess deaths, transmission among the vaccinated, natural immunity, selection pressures and new variants, the failure of institutions, the lab-leak hypothesis, the efficacy of lockdowns, vaccine mandates, boosters, what would happen in a worse pandemic, and other topics.

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH, is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, where he directs the Human Nature Lab and is the Co-Director of the Yale Institute for Network Science. He was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2006, the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2017. 

He is the author of several books—Connected: The Amazing Power of Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives, Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, and most recently Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.

Website: www.humannaturelab.net 

Twitter: @NAChristakis 


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