“Breathless:” A Q&A with science writer David Quammen



Noon ET Wednesday, Dec. 14

Join us for a discussion with veteran science journalist David Quammen whose most recent book, “Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus,” details the story of how virologists and other scientists have worked to unravel the mysteries of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Quammen will also talk about what he learned about the various origin theories and what lessons can be applied to the next, likely pandemic.

The New York Times describes the book as a "luminous, passionate account of the defining crisis of our time — and the unprecedented international response to it." Bring your questions about craft, grasping difficult science and spotting the next pandemic for this 45-minute Q&A.

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David Quammen

Bara Vaida

David Quammen is an author and journalist whose seventeen books include “The Song of the Dodo” (1996), “The Reluctant Mr. Darwin” (2006), and “The Tangled Tree” (2018). His 2012 book, “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic,” described the dynamics of viral spillover from wildlife into humans and predicted a coming pandemic, possibly caused by a coronavirus.

His new book, “Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus,” describes the scientific effort to trace the origins and evolution of the Covid-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, and to combat the pandemic it caused.

Quammen’s magazine work has appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Outside, Harper’s, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, and The New York Review of Books, among other magazines, and his Op-Eds in the New York Times and other newspapers. He’s a three-time recipient of the National Magazine Award and has received several awards for his books, including the Premio Letterario Merck, given in Rome. He shares a home in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Betsy Gaines Quammen, author of the book “American Zion,” plus three borzois, a cross-eyed cat, and a rescue python named Boots.