Welcome back to Science Fair, your guide to the science events happening in Columbia’s digital nexus. This week mostly features COVID events, so we at Bwog Science would like to remind you to stay indoors, reconsider your travel plans, and generally remember to take this thing seriously. Thanksgiving turkey isn’t even that good anyway.

People Count: Contact Tracing Apps and Public Health

  • Monday, November 16, 11:40 AM – 12:40 PM, click here for more information
  • “Pandemics end because we shut down the infection source, eradicate it, or vaccinate against it. But if these techniques don’t work, then we contact trace. For COVID-19, which spreads respiratorily even before someone shows symptoms, manual contact tracing can be too slow. Phone-based apps might be able to speed this up, but raise lots of issues. We need to know: Is an app efficacious? Does the app help or hinder the efforts of human-based contact tracing, a practice central to ending epidemics? If not—and efficacy must be measured across different communities—there is no reason to consider its use any further. Is the use of the app equitable? What are the social and legal protections for people who receive an exposure notification? Does a contact-tracing app improve public health more effectively than other efforts? Does the public support its use? Without public support, apps fail. The next pandemic will be different from COVID-19. Now is the time to decide what sorts of medical and social interventions we will make and what choices we want. The choices we make now will reverberate forever.”

Columbia SIPA/EI/Mailman Weekly CoV-2 Seminar: Alison Galvani

  • Wednesday, November 18, 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM, click here for more information
  • “Yale School of Public Health Professor Alison Galvani will discuss COVID-19 in the US: A confluence of healthcare insecurity, an inadequate social safety net and feckless leadership.”

Being a Scientist During a Global Pandemic – Hosted by the CNS of CU

  • Thursday, November 19, 8:00 PM, click here for more information
  • “Due to the pandemic and a societal trend of mistrusting science, it is important, now more than ever, for scientists to have platforms to communicate both their research and their personal experiences with the public. To this end, we plan to have three Stories in Science events, each with one or two scientists, to discuss three different aspects of human stories in the pandemic: experiences being a scientist during Covid-19, conducting research on the virus itself, and communicating science to the public.Join CNS’ Stories in Science for our first event on Thursday, November 19th at 8PM EST. Professor Lila Davachi and Professor Alfredo Spagna will speak on how COVID has impacted their research, personal life and the balance between their personal and professional lives.”

National Undergraduate Conference on Scientific Journalism – Hosted by Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal

  • Saturday, November 21, 10:30 – 4:30 PM, click here for more information
  • “Interested in publishing scientific research as an undergraduate? Curious about the spread of scientific information? CUSJ is hosting the National Undergraduate Conference on Scientific Journalism on Saturday, November 21, and you’re invited to attend! The conference, which is the first of its kind, will bring together hundreds of student-scientists and more than 18 undergraduate research journals from across the nation to discuss research ethics and practice, the publication process, the role of student journals, and more. The event will be held over Zoom. Speakers include Dr. Martin Chalfie (2008 Nobel Laureate and Columbia Biology professor), Carl Zimmer (science columnist for the New York Times), Amy Ellis Nutt (2011 Pulitzer Prize winner), and more. Featured events include panels on the Effective Consumption of Research, COVID-19 and the Spread of Scientific Information, and Careers in Scientific Journalism & Communication.”

Update 10/17/20 at 3:27 PM: This post has been corrected to reflect that Columbia Undergraduate Science Journal, not Columbia Science Review, is hosting the National Undergraduate Conference on Scientific Journalism. Bwog regrets the error.