The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris
Chair: Zoe Strimpel
The last one hundred years, from the Spanish flu of 1918 to Covid-19, has been marked by a succession of unanticipated pandemic alarms. Author Mark Honigsbaum talks about scares, both infamous and less known, combining reportage with the history of science and medical sociology to artfully reconstruct epidemiological mysteries and the ecology of infectious diseases.
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Mark Honigsbaum is a medical historian, journalist, and author of five books including The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris and The Fever Trail: In Search of the Cure for Malaria. He hosts the podcast series, Going Viral: The Mother of all Pandemics, marking the centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic. His TED-ED animation, How Pandemics Spread, has been viewed more than 2.75 million times. He is a former chief reporter of the Observer and holds a PhD in medical history. He is currently a lecturer at City University, London.
Zoe Strimpel is a historian of gender and intimacy in modern Britain, and a flagship columnist for the Sunday Telegraph. She is also the author of What the Hell Is He Thinking? All the Questions You Ever Asked About Men Answered (2010), The Man Diet: One Woman’s Quest to End Bad Romance (2012) and Seeking Love in Modern Britain: Gender, Dating and the Rise of 'The Single' (Bloomsbury, 2020).