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Howard Burton

Mar 22, 2022

Pandemic Perspectives

A Filmmaker's Journey in 10 Essays

Open Agenda 2022

Howard Burton has been talking to very wise people for decades--scientists, historians, political thinkers, philosophers, etc. When Covid "hit" he was, like many of us, puzzled. Where did it come from? How should we respond to it? What does it say about us? So he did what he does: Had conversations with 32 very wise people about Covid. From the filmed discussions, he created a terrific feature-length documentary film, Pandemic Perspectives, highlighting important societal issues illuminated by the pandemic through the prism of international experts in biology, education, history, law, philosophy, politics and more. You can watch the film here. Twenty-four related podcasts will be released as podcasts on the Ideas Roadshow Podcast, which you can find here.

He also wrote a thought-provoking collection of essays that chart his personal attempt to figure out how we got ourselves into this mess, what we can learn from it, and what it says about us as a species with "biology watcher" Lewis Thomas as his inspiration: Pandemic Perspectives: A Filmmaker's Journey in 10 Essays (Open Agenda Publishing, 2022). You can buy it here.

Today I talked to Howard about the book, and what he learned in his discussions with these people. Enjoy.

Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at marshallpoe@newbooksnetwork.com.

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