A Plague on Words

April 2, 2019

In the 1850s, John Snow mapped out the London cholera outbreak and discovered where the disease was coming from. Or so the story goes. Some of the details have been lost to history, but why does it matter all these years later? Because spreading medical myths might be as dangerous as spreading the disease itself.

In this episode, we talk to Alessandro Vespignani (Sternberg Family Distinguished Professor of Physics, Computer Sciences, and Health Sciences and the director of the Network Science Institute) and Sari Altschuler (assistant professor of English, associate director of the Northeastern Humanities Center, and the founding director of the Health, Humanities, and Society minor).

Litmus is produced and reported by Emily Arntsen and Aria Bracci. This episode was written and hosted by Emily Arntsen with mixing by Anthony Pulido. Edited by David Filipov.

The cover image, titled “Cholera Map of the Metropolis 1849”, is from Wellcome CollectionCC BY.