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Reporter Nights at SPS: Science Journalism in the Time of COVID-19

Watch the country's top science historians and reporters in discussion with Claudia Dreifus, SPS Lecturer in Professional Studies and contributor to the Times Science section, for Reporter Nights at SPS: Science Journalism in the Time of COVID-19.

"I Cover Pandemics" with Donald G. McNeil, Jr.

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.

He joined Claudia Dreifus for a conversation on how the Coronavirus pandemic began and what kinds of policies might curb it.

In this clip, McNeil discusses what the U.S. can learn from China after the country's initial response to the virus. 

Watch the full discussion below. 

"Good News From Bad News: What The COVID-19 Crisis Can Teach Us About Future Climate Change Calamities" with John Schwartz 

John Schwartz, a reporter on the climate desk at The New York Times, covers disasters, natural and otherwise. Mr. Schwartz spoke with Dreifus about how lessons learned in the COVID-19 pandemic could prove useful in mitigating the effects of climate change-related disasters.

The two explored 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. 

"Distrusting Science: How We Got This Pandemic"

Over the last twenty years, Naomi Oreskes, a professor of the history of science at Harvard University, has been writing widely read books about the political consequences of distorting scientific knowledge.   

Dr. Oreskes' best-seller, "Merchants of Doubt," coauthored with Erik M. Conway showed how a group of prestigious researchers misled the public on the dangers of smoking to further an anti-regulation and anti-government political agenda.   

Her most recent work, "Why Trust Science?" was written as a response to the growing impact of climate change deniers and anti-vaccine activists.   

Published by Princeton University Press before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, Dr. Oreskes warned of the dangers of an increasing public distrust of science. How much of the current pandemic can be attributed to this distrust of the knowledge of experts? What can the scientific community do counter the false information spread by some political leaders and by some among the citizenry?

Dr. Oreskes discusses why people across the country are reacting to social distancing rules differently in the clip below. 

Watch the full discussion below.