The World's Deadliest Pandemic: A Century Later

Emily  Miranker's picture
September 27, 2018
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Modern European History / Studies, Public Health

Thursday, September 27, 2018


This is a Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis Event


The Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, New York, NY 10029

Enter on East 104th Street


$15 General Public | $10 Museum Members, Friends of the Rare Book Room, Academy Fellows & Members

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This year marks the 100th anniversary of the global influenza pandemic of 1918. It infected an estimated quarter of the world’s population and caused the death of more people than the First World War. A century later, this disease is hardly an illness of the past with the CDC estimating tens of thousands of flu deaths in the United States annually. We have a better understanding of viruses, diagnostics and treatments than in 1918 yet societies are more connected than ever and move around the globe–taking our germs with us–than ever before. Historian of science Alan Kraut moderates a discussion between doctor Nicole Bouvier and John Barry, author of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, about the impacts of the pandemic and its legacy in the present day.

This program accompanies the exhibition Germ City: Microbes and the Metropolis(opens September 14, 2018). The program is presented by The New York Academy of Medicine and the Museum of the City of New York, and supported by Wellcome as part of Contagious Cities. To view all of the programs in this series, click here.

About the Speakers

John Barry, DHL, is a prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author whose books have won multiple awards. The National Academies of Science named his 2004 book The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history, a study of the 1918 pandemic, the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine. His articles have appeared in such scientific journals as Nature and Journal of Infectious Disease as well as in lay publications ranging from Sports Illustrated to PoliticoThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, Fortune, Time, Newsweek, and Esquire.

Nicole Bouvier, MD, is an infectious disease specialist whose research focuses on the influenza virus. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2004 and completed her internship and residency training in Internal Medicine at the Mount Sinai Hospital from 2004 to 2007. In addition to research, Bouvier is also a practicing physician and serves as a teaching attending on the General Infectious Diseases consult service at the Mount Sinai Hospital.

About the Moderator

Alan M. Kraut, PhD, is University Professor of History at American University, and an affiliate faculty member in the School of International Service. He is also a Non-resident Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute. He specializes in U.S. immigration and ethnic history, the history of medicine in the U.S. His best known volumes include: Silent Travelers: Germs, Genes, and the "immigrant Menace" (1994); The Huddled Masses: The Immigrant in American Society, 1880-1921 (2nd ed. 2001); and Goldberger's War: The Life and Work of a Public Health Crusader (2003). He is the past president of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society and currently chairs the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island History Advisory Committee.

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