Smarty Pants Podcast

Fighting the Zika Virus with John Wayne (and John Aubrey)

Well, not exactly

By Stephanie Bastek | November 7, 2016
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson
U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Brian Ferguson


Harriet Washington discusses how our current Zika crisis fits into the tragic pattern of ignoring tropical diseases until they hit our shores; Brian Doyle tries to justify watching 50 John Wayne movies in a row; and Ruth Scurr tells funny stories about John Aubrey, the most curious biographer of the Elizabethan age.

Mentioned in this episode:

• Harriet Washington’s cover story on neglected tropical diseases and mental health, “The Well Curve”
• Brian Doyle on John Wayne
• … and on his dog’s crush on Peter O’Toole
• “You Remember John Aubrey. Chased by Debt Collectors, Chaser of Whores,” a New York Times review of John Aubrey, My Own Life by Ruth Scurr

Tune in every two weeks to catch interviews with the liveliest voices from literature, the arts, sciences, history, and public affairs; reports on cutting-edge works in progress; long-form narratives; and compelling excerpts from new books. Hosted by Stephanie Bastek.

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