I have read more books written by Steven Johnson than any other author. In addition to being a friend and a USV-funded founder, Steven writes about things that fascinate me. And he is a wonderful writer. That’s a potent combination.
I am about to embark on another journey with Steven. This one is called Extra Life and it is about how mankind doubled our life expectancy over the last hundred years.
But Extra Life is not just a book. It is also a four part TV series airing on PBS that starts tomorrow night at 8pm.
Steven told me that when he started exploring the idea of this book years ago, he thought there might be a nice symmetry to launching the book on the hundred-year anniversary of the end of the flu epidemic of 1918-1919. Well little did he know then that we would have our own 100 year anniversary of that event that has shaken our world to its core over the last year.
This book is about much of what has come to dominate our lives in the last year, public health, vaccines, drug trials, etc, etc. But instead of focusing on the here and now, it zooms out and talks about the result of all of that. Which is a 10x reduction in childhood mortality and a doubling of life expectancy.