COVID-19 seems like a contagious virus without parallel, but Australia has been hit by devastating pandemics before.
The Spanish flu killed 15,000 Australians in 1919, smallpox decimated the Aboriginal population, HIV/AIDS once claimed 1000 Australian lives a year, and polio caused paralysis in tens of thousands.
This panel discussion examines the history of viruses and vaccines and their impact on Australian society and science.
Recorded on September 29, 2020. Collaboration with the National Museum of Australia
Peter Doherty – Laureate Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne; winner, 1996 Nobel Prize for medicine.
Dr Peter Hobbins – historian, Artefact Heritage Services, University of Sydney, State Library of NSW.
Gillian Thomas – President, Polio NSW, Polio Australia.
Big Ideas with Paul Barclay
Duration: 56min 28sec
Broadcast: Wed 14 Oct 2020, 8:05pm