Video On Demand

Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: A Conversation with Thomas J. Bollyky

October 25, 2018 • 2:00 – 4:00 pm EDT


For the first time in recorded history, bacteria, viruses, and other infectious diseases do not cause the majority of deaths or disabilities in any region of the world. But the news is not all good. The recent declines in plagues and parasites have not been accompanied by the same gains in infrastructure, job opportunities, and governance that came with those health improvements in the past. That has meant the byproducts of better health – a growing young work force, less deadly cities, and the shift in countries' health needs to adults – have become potential risks for instability and impoverishment rather than drivers of prosperity. For today’s improved health to lead to broader progress, Bollyky argues, it must be embedded in a larger development strategy, including investment in quality health-care and education systems, making cities more livable, and family planning.


On Thursday, October 25 from 2:00 to 4:00pm, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center will host a conversation with Thomas J. Bollyky on his new book, Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways. This is the first in a series of conversations intended to spotlight new thinking on health security, presented by the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America's Health Security.

This event is made possible through the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development and Director of the Global Health Program, Council on Foreign Relations