In 2017, acclaimed New York Times journalist Carl Zimmer and CZ Biohub Co-President Joe DeRisi met on stage in San Francisco at the World Conference of Science Journalists for a wide-ranging discussion. In particular, they touched on how genomic technologies championed by DeRisi were transforming the detection and diagnosis of infectious diseases, including how these tools might form the basis of a global early-warning system for emerging pandemics.

Now, just four years later, in-person conferences are a rarity, as we try to regain our footing in the wake of a devastating pandemic that spread like wildfire and profoundly reshaped societies on a global scale.

On July 15, in an event sponsored by the Northern California Science Writers Association, DeRisi and Zimmer met again, this time via Zoom, to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on science and public health, and to provide a glimpse of our path forward.