After COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the 72nd edition of the Conference on World Affairs, organizers announced that the annual event at the University of Colorado Boulder would be pared down for a virtual version.
This year's edition will include five sessions, all tied to COVID-19. There will be panels about historic pandemics, the economic impacts of COVID-19, the importance of listening to scientists, the role of humor in hard times, and what public health might look like after coronavirus. Speakers include Dan Carlin, the host of Hardcore History; Mike Reiss, a producer and writer for The Simpsons; and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Elizabeth Fenn.
The free online sessions, which will be limited to 500 participants over Zoom, will take place April 6 through 10. Audience members will be able to ask questions of the participants, and conference sessions will be posted on the Conference on World Affairs YouTube page after each event.
Here's the complete list of panels and speakers, as provided by the organizers:
Monday, April 6, 2 p.m.
Dan Carlin, host of the award-winning Hardcore History podcast, CU alum and 2020 CU Boulder commencement speaker.
Elizabeth Fenn, Pulitzer Prize winner and Distinguished Professor of Western American History at the University of Colorado Boulder studying the early American West, author of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82.
Susan Kent, University of Colorado Boulder Arts & Sciences Professor of Distinction, author of The Global Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919.
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The Economic Impacts of COVID-19
Tuesday, April 7, 2 p.m.
Rebecca A. Fannin, expert on global innovation and one of the first American journalists to write about China’s entrepreneurial boom, reporting from Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Jon Haveman, Executive Director, The National Economic Education Delegation. Widely considered to be one of California’s leading experts on the economics of seaports, goods movement and international trade policy.
Trine Tsouderos, Director at PwC’s Health Research Institute, where she develops national thought leadership on the healthcare industry's new entrants and innovators.
Richard Wobbekind, Executive Director of the Business Research Division, Associate Dean and Senior Economist at University of Colorado Leeds School of Business
Listen to the Scientists
Wednesday, April 8, 2 p.m.
Eliot Peper, strategist and novelist whose speculative thrillers explore the intersection of technology and culture.
Seth Shostak, senior astronomer, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI), and host of radio show/podcast Big Picture Science.
Ty Tashiro, social scientist and author of AWKWARD: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward & Why That's Awesome.
Humor in Hard Times
Thursday, April 9, 2 p.m.
Lisa Graves, president of the new watchdog group True North Research, researcher, writer and speaker. Former chief counsel for nominations on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, and deputy assistant attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Policy.
Mike Reiss, Emmy Award-winning writer and producer, The Simpsons.
Seth Shostak, senior astronomer, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute (SETI) and host of radio show/podcast Big Picture Science.
Michael Spencer, professor of Theater and Performance Design, Central Saint Martins.
Mark P. Stewart, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, and instrument designer.
Our Health Post-Coronavirus: A New Frontier
Friday, April 10, 2 p.m.
Margaret Pabst Battin, distinguished professor of philosophy and adjunct professor of internal medicine, Division of Medical Ethics, University of Utah.
Shelly L. Miller, professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Irina Petrache, pulmonologist at National Jewish Health, chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, professor in the Department of Medicine at National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Denver.
Margot Witvliet, Social epidemiologist and Assistant Professor, Lamar University.
Sign up to participate in the online conference at the University of Colorado Boulder website.