Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Planet Earth

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

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerSeptember 9, 2011 2:36 AM

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!

    2 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 70%

    Subscribe

    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In