Carl Zimmer on Defining Life

The Book Review


Carl. Zimmer joins us now. He is a columnist for the new york times and he is the author of many books. He was last on the podcast for his book. She has her mother's laugh. His new book is called. Life's edge the search for what it means to be alive. Carl thanks for being here. Thanks for having me all right so right now. You're kinda busy. You've been reporting on corona virus for the times. What is that leg. It's kind of overwhelming You know i am kind of startled that you know the whole world wants to read what we at. The scientists have to write about. You know this virus. But i will remember this experience of the past year for the rest of my life really. It's been exceptional as a as a moment in science journalism as a science journalist. Is this an area that you had been looking at for years and years. Were you especially interested in epidemiology or was this sort of switching gears for you. I've had a obsession with viruses for a long time. I'm actually wrote a book called the planet of viruses a few years ago. So you know. I've reported on ebola and influenza over the years of have done the virus thing. And so you know i i felt like well i can bring my experience to bear on this and and so basically it just started doing the same kind of reporting about this virus but now of course this is a virus that was causing a kind of pandemic that we have not seen for one hundred years. You're not the only journalist covering this pandemic obviously not even the only journalists covering this pandemic on the scientists at the times. How do you all kind of divide it up. Do you have an area in particular that you are looking at specifically yet. None of us can do this alone absolutely and we have to really roll with the punches. You know i was focusing a lot on vaccines for example in the fall overseeing our tracker and then we started to to see these variants were popping up. Then we're of serious concern so i basically had to carve out some time to work on variants but mental really. My colleague has also been writing about various. Like crazy and ben muller and we actually have several people who who just try to keep up with the variants. You know and and there are other people who are handling the store. All the stories of vaccine distribution geopolitics and long cova. There be other people handling that. It's it's such an enormous story. What about it most interest you personally. Well i'm most interested in in The pandemic ending besides that that and not being sick. Yes yeah is unsettling jim how this pandemic has played out exactly. As scientists had warned it would

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