Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

About

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer is a new four-part series from Nutopia that examines the science and medical innovations that conquered some of the world’s deadliest diseases and doubled life expectancies for many across the globe.

Set in the context of today’s COVID-19 crisis, this series explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics — including smallpox, cholera, the Spanish flu and others — and reveals how scientists, doctors, self-experimenters and activists launched a public health revolution, saving millions of lives, fundamentally changing how we think about illness and ultimately paving the way for modern medicine.

Airdates

Tuesdays, May 11 through June 1, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Vaccine
Tuesday, May 11, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Discover the role vaccination plays in our growing ability to prevent the spread of illness. Travel through the remarkable history of vaccines and learn how new ones are developed when never-before-seen diseases like COVID-19 emerge.

Medical Drugs
Tuesday, May 18, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Learn about the surprisingly recent invention of medicine that combats illness directly, such as antibiotics. From the accidental discovery of penicillin to today’s hunt for antivirals, this history underpins work to find COVID-19 treatments.

Data
Tuesday, May 25, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Track the importance of data mapping and analysis in the quest to improve public health. The painstaking work of past data detectives made us aware of epidemic “curves” as well as the extent of health inequalities among different U.S. communities.

Behavior
Tuesday, June 1, at 8pm on ThinkTV16

Understand the importance of persuading the public to protect themselves during health crises. History shows that handwashing, social distancing and grassroots campaigning all play important roles in helping to shift behavior and save lives.