What kind of uncertainty factors into this silence on the health consequences of heat?

Assignment 1.

Listen to the 17-minute episode from the On the Media podcast titled “Waiting For a Gamechanger.” It features an interview with organic chemist Derrek Lowe on the media reporting of so-called “gamechanger drugs.” Here is the link:


Write up each answer in 2-3 sentences.
1. What are the problems with the Gilead study?
2. Why are the media so quick to report on its findings?
3. What are the fallacies embedded in the “cure narrative”?
4. What have you learned about the research of viral cures and vaccines? How does this make you feel about the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available?

Assignment 2. Extreme Heat: The silent killer

Listen to the first 20 minutes of the Climate One podcast episode “Extreme Heat: The Silent Killer”. It features an interview with Senior VP and Director Kathy Baughman-McLeod of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.


Answer the following questions:

1. Why does heat not get much attention in the media or consideration in economic impact assessments?
2. What kind of uncertainty factors into this silence on the health consequences of heat?
3. Baughman-McLeod proposes an insurance program for cities that kicks in based on the trigger of an event (i.e. the weather forecast of heat), rather than the heat event itself, so as to make funds available in preparation of a natural catastrophe, rather than after the damage. What role does probabilistic uncertainty play in this type of program? If you were working for this type of insurer, how would you deal with this uncertainty?