Pandemics like the current novel coronavirus disease outbreak provide a powerful incentive to study the dynamics of complex adaptive systems. They also make it obvious, as new information streams in and our forecasts change in real-time, how hard emergent behaviors are to model and predict. For this special mini-series covering the COVID-19 crisis, we will bring you into conversation with scientists in the Santa Fe Institute’s global research network who study epidemics so you can learn their cutting-edge approaches and what sense they make of our evolving global situation.
Due to the pace at which the news is changing, we’ll ignore our normal schedule for the next few weeks and get more, shorter conversations out more frequently. Please take a moment to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts, and feel free to suggest questions for upcoming guests on Twitter or in our Facebook group.
This episode’s returning guest is SFI External Professor, Princeton epidemiologist Andy Dobson. Among the questions we discuss:
What are the benefits and limits of mathematical models in tracking contagious disease? How do epidemiologists make sense of the tradeoffs between a pathogen’s transmissibility and virulence with spatial and evolutionary models? When is it likely that herd immunity will and will not work as a reasonable response to COVID-19? What happens if COVID-19 becomes an endemic seasonal infection? How are the dynamics of epidemiological and economic systems related, both at the level of disease transmission and for modeling recovery?
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Podcast Theme Music by Mitch Mignano.
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