Plagues have inflicted misery and suffering throughout history. They can be traced through generations in our genes, with echoes in religion and literature. Featuring essays arising from the 2014 Darwin College Lectures, Plagues examines the spectrum of tragic consequences of different types of plagues, from infectious diseases to over-population and computer viruses. The essays analyse the impact that plagues have had on humanity and animals, and their threat to the very survival of the world as we know it. On the theme of plagues, each essay takes a unique perspective, ranging from the impact of plagues on history, medicine, the evolution of species, and biblical metaphors, to their impact on national economies, and even our highly connected digital lifestyles. This engaging and timely collection challenges our understanding of plagues, and asks if plagues are the manifestation of nature's checks and balances in light of human population growth and our impact on climate change.
1. Ebola, the plague of 2014/15 // Jonathan L. Heeney
2. Plagues and history: from the Black Death to Alzheimer's disease // Christopher Dobson and Mary Dobson
3. Plagues and medicine // Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
4. The nature of plagues 2013–14: a year of living dangerously // Angela McLean
5. Plagues, populations, and survival // Stephen J. O'Brien
6. Plagues and socioeconomic collapse // Ian Morris
7. Silicon plagues // Mikko Hypponen
8. The human plague // Stephen Emmott
9. Plague as metaphor // Rowan Williams
Jonathan L. Heeney studied veterinary medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, where he further specialised, receiving a doctorate in pathology. He earned his PhD in viral immunopathology at the National Institutes of Health, Maryland, and subsequently was a Fellow in molecular and comparative pathology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, California. In the 1990s he established the Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis in the Netherlands, where he studied viral infections of immunocompromised hosts and pioneered a number of candidate vaccines for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C, amongst others. He established an international series of meetings and think tanks focussed on vaccine design based on immune correlates. In 2007 he was elected Professor of Comparative Pathology at the University of Cambridge, where he established the Laboratory of Viral Zoonotics, a laboratory dedicated to the study of viral diseases transmitted from animals to humans. He has published widely on globally important human diseases, from AIDS to Ebola, and their zoonotic origins in animals.
Sven Friedemann is a former Schlumberger Fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge on a Feodor-Lynen fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He is currently a lecturer in the School of Physics at the University of Bristol.
- Jonathan L. Heeney
- Christopher Dobson
- Mary Dobson
- Sir Leszek Borysiewicz
- Angela McLean
- Stephen J. O'Brien
- Ian Morris
- Mikko Hypponen
- Stephen Emmott
- Rowan Williams