Omnia Podcast: In These Times (Audio)

A six-episode podcast series that explores the forces that have shaped events in 2020.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Illustrations by Nick Matej

Logo Design by Drew Nealis

“In these times” has been a handy turn of phrase in 2020, with varying adjectives used to modify it. Challenging. Unique. Strange. What started as a useful shorthand for the COVID-19 pandemic and the surreal nature of stay-at-home orders became used describe world-wide protests and calls for racial justice. This fall, the OMNIA podcast goes beyond the shorthand, using COVID-19 as a platform for a six-episode series that explores the science, social science, and history that has shaped events in 2020.

In these times, knowledge is more important than ever.
Listen to Season 1 on the series website.

Dimensions of the COVID-19 Crisis: Season 1, Episode 1

The COVID-19 pandemic is more than a respiratory illness. In this episode, we talk to experts about contagion, inequality, and science denial.

David Roos
, E. Otis Kendall Professor of Biology
Courtney Boen, Assistant­ Professor of Sociology and Axilrod Faculty Fellow
Regina Baker, Assistant­ Professor of Sociology
Michael Weisberg, Professor and Chair of Philosophy


In Other Times: Season 1, Episode 2

We’ve been here before. In this episode, we talk to experts about past epidemics, how societies fought them, and how they changed life.

David Barnes, Associate Professor of History and Sociology of Science
Sarah Barringer Gordon, Arlin M. Adams Professor of Constitutional Law and Professor of History
Alexander Chase-Levenson, Assistant Professor of History
Dagmawi Woubshet, Ahuja Family Presidential Associate Professor of English


Crisis Upon Crisis: Season 1, Episode 3

The coronavirus pandemic does not exist in a vacuum. We look at other urgent issues of our time, and examine how they affect and are affected by COVID-19.

Matthew Levendusky, Professor of Political Science and Penny and Robert A. Fox Director of the Fels Institute of Government
Mary Frances Berry, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of History and Africana Studies
Bethany Wiggin, Associate Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Founding Director, Penn Program in Environmental Humanities


Exacerbating the Health Care Divide: Season 1, Episode 4

With rates of diagnoses and death disproportionately affecting racial minorities and low-income workers, experts in this episode address how COVID-19 has further exposed already dire health outcome inequalities.

Julia Lynch, Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies
Rebecca Mueller, doctoral candidate in the Department of History and Sociology of Science
Dorothy Roberts, George A. Weiss University Professor of Law and Sociology, Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and Professor of Africana Studies


Racial Justice and Repair: Season 1, Episode 5

In the midst of the pandemic, an estimated 20 million people participated in protests for racial justice. In this episode, we talk about philosophy, justice, and what it might look like the repair a broken system.

Daniel Fryer, Doctoral Candidate in Philosophy and former Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia
Charles L. “Chaz” Howard, C’00, University Chaplain, and Vice President for Social Equity and Community


Beyond the COVID-19 Crisis: Season 1, Episode 6

In March 2020, the UN Secretary General described COVID-19 as the most challenging crisis the world has seen since WWII. As the year draws to a close and the pandemic lingers on, we explore what life beyond crisis might look like.

Omar Husni, C’22; Samira Mehta, C’21; and James Nycz, C’21
Karen Reivich, Director of Resilience and Positive Psychology Training Programs, Penn Positive Psychology Center
Paul Saint-Amour, Walter and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Chair, Department of English


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