Rethinking Covid | Jay Bhattacharya & Gigi Foster


John Anderson

In this Direct interview, John is joined by Professors Jay Bhattacharya and Gigi Foster for a scintillating reconsideration of global responses to the Covid pandemic. Among their topics of discussion include the influence of public health bureaucracies in democratic nations, the impacts and necessity of lockdowns, essential tools for modelling public health economics and the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is Professor of Medicine and Professor (by Courtesy) of Economics at Stanford University, and one of the world’s leading experts on public health policy. Dr. Bhattacharya’s research focuses on the economics of health care around the world with a particular emphasis on the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. He has published 135 articles in top peer-reviewed scientific journals in medicine, economics, health policy, epidemiology, statistics, law, and public health among other fields. He holds an MD and PhD in economics, both earned at Stanford University. Dr. Bhattacharya previously appeared on John’s podcast in August 2020, during the early days of the pandemic.

Dr. Gigi Foster is a Professor and Director of Education within the School of Economics at the UNSW Business School. She holds a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics from Yale University, and a PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland. She works in diverse fields including education, social influence, corruption, lab experiments, time use, behavioural economics and Australian policy. She has held several ARC Discovery Grants and authored more than 25 scholarly works, including the book (joint with Paul Frijters) ‘An Economic Theory of Greed, Love, Groups, and Networks’, published in 2013 by Cambridge University Press. Gigi is active in the Australian media, particularly in regard to matters of education policy and economic thought.

Conversations feature John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, interviewing the world’s foremost thought leaders about today’s pressing social, cultural and political issues.