Science Interrupted: The Impact of Coronavirus

Listen 48:54
Crested Butte Mountains

The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to science projects all over the world — closing labs and shuttering field research, including Dan Blumstein's decades-long marmot project in the Crested Butte Mountains of Colorado, pictured here. (Image courtesy of Dan Blumstein)

Around the globe, COVID-19 has frozen economies, closed schools, stores, and restaurants, and even canceled the Olympics. Millions of people are stuck at home, trying their best to keep their work going from a distance. So what does all this mean for scientific research? On this episode, we explore how the pandemic is transforming the lives and work of scientists, both now and in the future. We hear stories about the impact on field research — and what that means for the next generation of scientists; one lab’s mission to rescue valuable research mice; and areas that have been thrust into overdrive, including a high-stakes drug trial seeking a cure.

Also heard on this week’s episode:

  • Reporter Irina Zhorov pulls back the curtain on the high-stakes drug trials digging into a hyped — and hated — potential treatment, hydroxychloroquine.
  • Stephen Tang, the CEO of OraSure Technologies, discusses their work developing a rapid COVID-19 antigen test.
  • We talk with MIT’s Martin Culpepper and Drexel University’s Genevieve Dion about their universities’ efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19.
  • We hear from scientists around the world who talk about how the coronavirus has affected their research. Jacinta Beehner describes what it’s like to pack up a field station in a hurry.

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