COVID Conversations: Thinking Through the Pandemic

COVID-19 has caused upheaval and grief; it has also led us to a new appreciation of compassion, resilience, and selflessness. It has laid bare social inequalities and caused us, as individuals and as societies, to think more deeply about interdependence and responsibility to the common good. 

Amherst is convening a series of live-streamed conversations addressing different facets of the pandemic's impact. Esteemed alumni experts and friends of the College will share their insights and answer your questions concerning this cataclysmic event and its ramifications for our society and ourselves.

Audience members may submit live questions for the Q&A portion of each conversation. Please register below, and contact events@amherst.edu with any questions. This series is sponsored by the President's Office and funded by the Croxton Lecture Fund.

Watch videos of past events in this series »

Watch the live events here


  Stiglitz and Novak

A Conversation with Joseph Stiglitz ’64 H’74, hosted by David Novak ’91

Tuesday, 4/28/20, 4:30 p.m. EDT

Trustee Emeritus Joseph Stiglitz ’64 H’74, Nobel Prize-winning economist and professor of economics at Columbia University, talks with private equity executive and Amherst trustee David Novak ’91. Read more...


Varmus, Kessler, and Tilghman

A Conversation with Harold Varmus ’61 & David Kessler ’73, hosted by Shirley Tilghman H’08

Thursday, 4/30/20, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Harold Varmus ’61, M.D., co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and Lewis Thomas University Professor of Medicine at the Meyer Cancer Center of Weill Cornell Medicine, joins Trustee Emeritus David A. Kessler ’73, M.D., Professor of Pediatrics, Epidemiology, and Biostatistics at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco for a discussion hosted by trustee Shirley M. Tilghman H’08, Professor of Molecular Biology and Public Affairs and President Emerita at Princeton University. Read more...


Brooks and Jackson

A Conversation with Arthur Brooks, hosted by the Reverend Phillip A. Jackson ’85

Monday, 5/4/20, 7 p.m. EDT

Arthur Brooks, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, former president of the American Enterprise Institute, host of the popular podcast The Art of Happiness with Arthur Brooks, and author of Love Your Enemies, will be joined by Phil Jackson ’85, Amherst College trustee and Priest-in-Charge and Vicar of Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City. Read more...


Zeke Emanuel and President Biddy Martin

A Conversation with Zeke Emanuel ’79, hosted by President Biddy Martin

Thursday, 5/7/20, 5 p.m. EDT

Oncologist and bioethicist Zeke Emanuel ’79, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and Vice Provost for Global Initiatives and chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, will join Amherst College President Biddy Martin.