Dec. 8: The First Shots: A Virtual Conversation with Brendan Borrell

A Virtual Conversation with
Brendan Borrell, Author of

The First Shots:
The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine

Wednesday, December 8, 7 pm EST, on Zoom

Science Writers in New York is pleased to present Brendan Borrell (@bborrell), author of The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine (October 2021, Mariner Books). 

SWINY co-chair David Levine (@dlloydlevine) will talk with Brendan about his book, which tells the full inside story of the high-stakes, global race for the lifesaving vaccine to end the pandemic.

Brendan, an award-winning journalist, brings the defining story of our times alive through compulsively readable, first-time reporting on the players leading the fight against a vicious virus. The First Shots, soon to be the subject of an HBO limited series with superstar director and producer Adam McKay (Succession, Vice, The Big Short), draws on exclusive, high-level access to weave together the intense vaccine-race conflicts among hard-driving, heroic scientists and the epic rivalries among Washington power players that shaped 18 months of fear, resolve, and triumph.

Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, says of The First Shots: “Brendan Borrell delivers a riveting, sometimes startling, sometimes chilling page-turner of a book. But this tale of the COVID-19 pandemic and the race to find vaccines to stop it is more than a good read. It’s also a remarkable illumination of the politics, the personalities, and the human drama underlying a desperate scientific fight against an invisible enemy.” 

Publisher’s Weekly, in a *starred* review, calls The First Shots “a powerful behind-the-scenes look at Operation Warp Speed . . . a page-turning introduction to a key part of the pandemic.”

About Brendan Borrell

Photo credit Ashley Barker

Brendan Borrell has tracked down the Canadian maple syrup thieves, gone deep inside the world of British mole catchers, and pieced together the epic story of a French adventurer who vanished in Alaska. Brendan is a correspondent for Outside magazine and his work regularly appears in other publications, including The New York TimesNational GeographicThe Atlanticand Bloomberg Businessweek

He worked as a science consultant on the production of Will Smith: The Jump, and investigated herbal medicine in the modern world as an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.

Brendan grew up in Texas, went to college in California, and spent six years catching frogs, snakes, and bees in Central America while completing his Ph.D. in biology. Now, he often writes about people and their sometimes strange and often surprising relationships with nature.

Have a question for Brendan you would like answered? Submit it here!

Wednesday, December 8, 7 pm EST


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