In this lunch talk that opens the Global Health Colloquium Series for the 2022-23 academic year, Prof. Eugene Richardson, MD, PhD, will talk about "Epidemic Illusions”, and how public health practices – from epidemiological modeling and outbreak containment to Big Data and causal inference — play an essential role in perpetuating a range of global inequities. Drawing on critical studies from different disciplines, Richardson explores the ways in which epidemiology has been shaped by the colonial, racist, and patriarchal system that had its inception in 1492. Deploying a range of rhetorical tools and drawing on his clinical work in a variety of epidemics, including Ebola in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, leishmania in the Sudan, HIV/TB in southern Africa, diphtheria in Bangladesh, and SARS-CoV-2 in the United States, Richardson lays the groundwork for reparative approaches to global health equity.
Dr. Richardson previously served as the clinical lead for Partners In Health’s Ebola response in Kono District, Sierra Leone, where he continues to conduct research on the social epidemiology of Ebola virus disease and COVID-19. He also worked as a clinical case management consultant for the WHO’s Ebola riposte in Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo. More recently, he was seconded to the Africa CDC to join their COVID-19 response. His overall focus is on biosocial approaches to epidemic disease prevention, containment, and treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. As part of this effort, he is co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Reparations and Redistributive Justice and co-chair of the BMJGH Commission on Epistemic Injustice. Dr. Richardson received his MD from Cornell University Medical College and his PhD in Anthropology from Stanford University. He completed residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine at Stanford University Medical Center.