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Professor Brian J. Ford is a prolific research scientist who launched numerous science communication projects for the BBC.

In this discussion, he discusses a gamut of relevant microbiology topics, including

  • his thoughts on Covid-19, or with the nomenclature he prefers, this new form of SARS, and various government and population reactions as well as ways we should prevents its spread in our homes,
  • his ideas on the consideration if viruses are alive or not and why, and
  • glimpses of his own historical involvement with microbiology, microbes, viruses, and interesting discoveries, including a look through one of Van Leeuwenhoek’s original microscopes and original samples.

Author of numerous books, professor, author, and scientist Brian J.

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Ford has spent a lifetime educating the public about science through research, projects with the BBC, and traveling the world lecturing.

In this podcast, he discusses a variety of subjects about microbiology, microbes, viruses and other similar topics. He begins with a frank talk about Covid-19, which he feels should be more accurately called a new form of the SARS virus, which we faced in 2003.

He explains that it is much more infectious, though kills less. But because it is so infectious and many countries have not stopped its spread early enough, it may reach many more people and ultimately be more deadly, therefore.

He says many countries and communities minimalized the seriousness, dumbing down the reality of the virus and closing down too late.

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For example, he points out that in Germany and South Korea, leadership was organized and insisted on tracing every case and its contacts—Germany now has the lowest mortality rate in the world.

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The conversation also touches on many other subjects such as the often-argued topic of whether viruses are alive and why, including defining what qualities make something alive. He then discusses his sense of the living cell as not just part of our body.

He looks at people as a community of living cells, sees us as fruiting bodies rather than an engineered machine of some sort. He then adds interesting stories about his own run in with history such as Van Leeuwenhoek’s original microscopes, his thoughts on microbiomes, and modern theories about healthy eating.

For more, see his website at


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