Crowds, Vaccines, Climate Comparisons: Sciences Faculty Share COVID-19 Insights, Expertise with Media

Georgia Tech scientists talk epidemiology, vaccine timelines, and climate comparisons with 11Alive, AJC, The New York Times

March 18, 2020 | Atlanta, GA

Please note: This page is a compilation of faculty media mentions. For up-to-date information on Georgia Tech's response to coronavirus (COVID-19) please see http://health.gatech.edu/coronavirus.

COVID-19 has sent many to seek out the latest information and ask questions about immunology, disease tracking, and how vaccines are developed.

Georgia Tech College of Sciences faculty from three schools recently shared insights and expertise in news reports focused on the topic:
 

M.G. Finn on vaccine timelines, social distancing

WXIA-TV 11Alive: Coronavirus vaccine coming. But with science, it’s a matter of time.

The race is on in labs across the globe to find a vaccine for the coronavirus.

M.G. Finn, the head of Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, said possible vaccines are already in the works.

"I'm quite confident that effective vaccine candidates will emerge,” Finn said. “That’s not the hard part. The hard part is you have to test it.”

Read more and watch on 11 Alive

 

Joshua Weitz on mathematical modeling and crowd sizes

AJC: Scientists do the math to show how large events like March Madness could spread coronavirus

Critics who contend canceling March Madness and other large events to prevent the coronavirus is overkill may change their minds after reading the math behind it.

Joshua S. Weitz is a professor of biological sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology and founding director of the Quantitative Biosciences Ph.D. program at Georgia Tech. His co-authors on this fascinating column are Richard Lenski, National Academy of Sciences member from Michigan State University, Lauren Meyers, infectious disease expert from UT-Austin, and Jonathan Dushoff, infectious disease modeler from McMaster University.

Here, they explain a mathematical model that illustrates why banning large events helps in the midst of an epidemic.

Read more on AJC
Updated coverage (March 16, 2020): AJC
Updated coverage (March 24, 2020): AJC
Related coverage: National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Crosscut, Atlanta Magazine

 

Kim Cobb on climate change, COVID-19 parallels

The New York Times: Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus

“Alarming levels of inaction.” That is what the World Health Organization said Wednesday [March 11] about the global response to coronavirus.

It is a familiar refrain to anyone who works on climate change, and it is why global efforts to slow down warming offer a cautionary tale for the effort to slow down the pandemic.

“Both demand early aggressive action to minimize loss,” said Kim Cobb, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology who was teaching classes remotely this week. “Only in hindsight will we really understand what we gambled on and what we lost by not acting early enough.”

Read more on The New York Times
Related coverage: EP Magazine, WDET

 

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Media Relations Assistance: John Toon (404-894-6986) (jtoon@gatech.edu).

For More Information Contact

Jess Hunt-Ralston
Director of Communications
College of Sciences
Georgia Institute of Technology