Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of the Coronavirus
Nicholas A. Christakis, Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science, Yale University, and Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University
Professor Christakis is a leading authority on contagions, both biological and ideological. He has been a very important voice in ensuring that consideration of COVID-19 is fact-based and rooted in historical and sociological insight. Professor Christakis returns to the James Madison Program for a discussion of his new book, Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (Little, Brown Spark, 2020).
Apollo's Arrow offers a riveting account of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as it swept through American society in 2020, and of how the recovery will unfold in the coming years. Drawing on momentous (yet dimly remembered) historical epidemics, contemporary analyses, and cutting-edge research from a range of scientific disciplines, bestselling author, physician, sociologist, and public health expert Nicholas A. Christakis explores what it means to live in a time of plague — an experience that is paradoxically uncommon to the vast majority of humans who are alive, yet deeply fundamental to our species.
Unleashing new divisions in our society as well as opportunities for cooperation, this 21st-century pandemic has upended our lives in ways that will test, but not vanquish, our already frayed collective culture. Featuring new, provocative arguments and vivid examples ranging across medicine, history, sociology, epidemiology, data science, and genetics, Apollo's Arrow envisions what happens when the great force of a deadly germ meets the enduring reality of our evolved social nature.
Nicholas A. Christakis is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale University, appointed in the Departments of Sociology; Medicine; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Biomedical Engineering; and the School of Management. His work is in the fields of network science, biosocial science, and behavior genetics. 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, most recently, of Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live (Little, Brown Spark, 2020). Professor Christakis received his B.S. from Yale University, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health, and his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Robert P. George holds Princeton University's McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions. He has served as chairman of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and before that on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served as the U.S. member of UNESCO’s World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST). He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he holds M.T.S. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University and the degrees of D.Phil., B.C.L., D.C.L., and D.Litt. from Oxford University.
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