The brilliant Niall Ferguson will give a compelling talk on the history of catastrophes and their consequences. Disasters are inherently hard to predict. But when catastrophe strikes, we ought to be better prepared than the Romans were when Vesuvius erupted or medieval Italians when the Black Death struck. Yet the responses of many developed countries to a new pathogen from China were badly bungled. Why? Drawing from multiple disciplines, including economics and network science, Professor Ferguson will offer not just a history but a general theory of disaster.