Given the seriousness of the coronavirus (technically SARS-COV-2/COVID-19) crisis, I hope you are taking extreme precautions, at least until the full magnitude of what we are facing becomes clearer. If you happen to be in quarantine or are smartly spending more time at home and away from crowds, this might be a good time to brush up some of the underlying science related to this crisis and our emerging response. As a small potential contribution to this process, I’d recommend the following books:
- Global pandemics
- Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen
- Public health
- Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health, by Laurie Garrett
- Genetics/Genetic engineering:
- Hacking Darwin: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humanity, by me
- The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee
- Future of healthcare
- Synthetic biology
- Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves, by George Church
With more of us in or about to be in quarantine, I also thought I would share with you my 2015 short story, “A Visit to Weizenbaum,” from the War Stories from the Future anthology. The story imagines what life might be like for future “isolation warriors” living in complete quarantine to protect against biological threats.
If one thing is certain, it is that our future will look radically different from our past.