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Advisory Regarding Coronavirus COVID-19

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“Reporter Nights” at SPS: Science Journalism in the Time of COVID-19 | Donald G. McNeil, Jr.

The New York TimesDonald G. McNeil, Jr. and John Schwartz — two of America’s top science reporters — will join Claudia Dreifus, SPS Lecturer in Professional Studies and contributor to the Times Science section, for virtual conversations regarding COVID-19.. 

The events will explore the pandemic’s origins and policy options, issues in science communications highlighted by the crisis, and how lessons learned from the pandemic can be applied to climate change-related disasters, and more.

Given the importance and relevance of the topic, SPS welcomes you to this class-in-session. While only selected students from the course will have the opportunity to engage with the presenters, all attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions for consideration in advance.

TUESDAY, APRIL 7, 2020 | 7:00 PM


Donald G. McNeil, Jr., a senior New York Times correspondent specializing in global health, has reported for two decades on epidemics and how different societies respond to them.

This is a story that’s hitting close to home. In early 2020, Mr. McNeil was among the first of American journalists to warn of a deadly flu outbreak in Wuhan, China. He has since reported continuously on the Americanization of this epidemic and appears regularly on the Rachel Maddow Show, elaborating on his New York Times dispatches.

Over the years, Mr. McNeil has written about Zika, bird flu, HIV-AIDS and Ebola. He was in South Africa in the 1990s reporting on the AIDS crisis and in Taiwan during the SARS outbreak.

In 2016, Norton published his report Zika: The Emerging Epidemic.

Donald McNeil will address how the Coronavirus pandemic began and about what sorts of policies might curb it.

He will also discuss the special science communication issues that the COVID-19 crisis illuminates: Is there enough science literacy among ordinary beat reporters? How does a journalist cover a complicated science story at a moment when both science and journalism are disparaged by political leaders? What can scientists do to tell their story better?

RSVP here for I Cover Pandemics with Donald G. McNeil, Jr.

For questions, please contact Kristie Stack, Associate Director, M.S. in Sustainability Management Program, at kd2528 [[at]] columbia [[dot]] edu.