105. DOOM: DISASTER IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
Saturday 25th June 14:00 (60 Min)
Niall Ferguson is one of the most influential historians and political thinkers of our age. This talk will span the ancient world to the present, examining volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, famines, world wars, plagues and nuclear fallouts whilst drawing on an impressive array of disciplines from traditional historical approaches to network theory and epidemiology. He will challenge the distinction between natural and manmade disasters and point out that excess mortality is almost always the result of poor human decision-making while acknowledging the dilemma faced by political leaders in democracies when preparing for disasters. With election cycles of only 4-5 years, short-term sacrifices to avert potential catastrophes are hard to make. Against the background of the Covid-19 pandemic and war in Ukraine, this talk could hardly be more timely.