You are here

How the Past Can Help us Understand Our Post COVID-19 Future

Saturday, December 12, 2020

This talk is part of the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium.

Event Time

December 11, 2020 | Friday
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)
December 12, 2020 | Saturday
9:00 am - 10:00 am China Standard Time

Participating Format

Registration is required to obtain a ZOOM Conference access link, which will be sent to your registration email or phone shortly. Please enter the ZOOM room 15 minutes before the starting time. When the room is full, latecomers will not be able to access the ZOOM conference.


Participants within China can click “HERE” further below to register. Participants from outside of China can use the following link to register:

Please send an email to if there are any problems.



The language of the event will be English.


Recording (audiotaping or videotaping) during the event is not allowed.

The Event

Yale Historian Frank Snowden is the author of Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present, the World Economic Forum #1 book to read for context on the coronavirus outbreak, and lecturer of the Open Yale Course Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600. He was in Italy, the epicenter of Europe’s COVID-19 outbreak, doing research on the history of epidemics when the current pandemic began, and himself survived a COVID-19 infection.

What was Professor Snowden’s personal experience with COVID-19 like? What can he tell us about pandemic preparedness and response based on his first-hand observations in Italy and the U.S.? Why has he termed COVID-19 the “first pandemic of globalization?” Why have longstanding warnings from epidemiologists about a forthcoming global pandemic been ignored for so long, and why was the world so unprepared for a pandemic despite such warnings? What role have international organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) played, and how may WHO’s role change in the coming years? What will be the long-term impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic on society? Come join Yale Center Beijing on Saturday morning, December 12, for an intimate discussion with Professor Frank Snowden.

The Speaker


Frank Snowdens
Andrew Downey Orrick Professor Emeritus of History & History of Medicine, Yale University

Frank Snowden attended Harvard College, where he received a B.A. in 1968. He then earned his D.Phil. degree from Oxford University in 1975. After teaching at London University (1978-1990) and Yale University (1990 - 2018), and serving as Chair of History of Science and Medicine at Yale, he retired in 2018. He is now Andrew Downey Orrick Professor Emeritus of History at Yale. His principal publications in the field of medicine and public health are: Violence and Great Estates in the South of Italy: Apulia, 1900-1922; Naples in the Time of Cholera, 1884 – 1911; The Conquest of Malaria: Italy, 1900 – 1962; and Epidemics and Society: from the Black Death to the Present.

Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium

Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Maurice R. Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of C.V. Starr & Co. Inc. the Yale Center Beijing is pleased to host the Greenberg Distinguished Colloquium, which will convene thought leaders from all sectors who, in the spirit of Mr. Greenberg, play pivotal roles in building bridges among China, the U.S., and the rest of the world.

Mr. Greenberg has been a member of Yale Center Beijing’s Executive Council and retired as the Chairman and CEO of American International Group (AIG). In 2018, he was awarded the China Reform Friendship Medal.

Public Event