Planet Earth

On Slate--Contagion: A dialogue about movies, viruses, and reasonable fear

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerSep 8, 2011 9:36 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Last year, while I was working on a profile for the New York Times of a virus hunter named Ian Lipkin, he told me he was consulting on a Hollywood movie about the outbreak of a new pathogen. Kate Winslet would be an epidemiologist. Lawrence Fishburne would work at the Centers for Disease Control. He was hanging out with Gwyneth Paltrow. The director was Steven Soderbergh. I had a hard time picturing all this. In fact, he was not blowing a single puff of smoke my way. It was all true. A couple weeks ago, I got a chance to see the movie--called Contagion--which will be released tomorrow. I liked it very much, but, of course, I have a thing for viruses (and for scary movies). So be sure to delicately place a grain of salt on top of my upturned thumb. I've embedded the trailer below. On the occasion of the release, Slate asked me to join in a written dialogue with Arthur Allen, the author of the book Vaccine and frequent contributor to Slate. We've each contributed a piece today, and tomorrow we'll each contribute another. Allen opens, I return...and we continue tomorrow to talk about the issues that the movie raises, such as how much we should worry about (and direct resources towards) the next big virus. WARNING: While the trailer below gives away little, in my Slate pieces I give away all!

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Magazine Examples
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2021 Kalmbach Media Co.