Headshot of Scott Atlas

Wednesday, November 15
5:30 - 7 pm
ATLAS Institute (1125 18th St. Boulder, CO 80309)
Cofrin Auditorium Room 100
Livestream and In-person

Watch recording here

About the lecture

Science, academia, and public health are now in crisis, exposed during the pandemic as a fundamental lack of critical thinking, an overt blockage of the free exchange of ideas on campus, and a disappearance of our moral and ethical compass, so pervasive that we have rightfully lost trust in most of our institutions and leaders, trust that is essential to the function of any diverse, heterogeneous society.  And today, the free exchange of ideas, the essential to finding truth, fundamental to any democracy and truly free society, is under threat. This presentation reviews what was known since the early days of the pandemic, the results of the failed management under two administrations, and the lessons learned to prevent this from happening again.

About the speaker

Scott W. Atlas, MD is the Robert Wesson Senior Fellow in health policy at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. He investigates the impact of government and the private sector on access, quality, and pricing in health care, trends in health care innovation, and key economic and civil liberties issues related to health policies. He is a frequent policy advisor to policymakers in the United States and other countries. He has served as senior advisor for health policy to several candidates for President, members of the US Congress, and health agencies. From August through November, 2020, he served as Special Advisor to the President and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Before his policy appointment at Hoover Institution, he was Professor and Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center for 14 years and in academic medicine for 25 years. Dr. Atlas is the author of more than 100 peer‐reviewed scientific publications, 200 policy pieces, and numerous books, including “A Plague Upon Our House: My Fight at the Trump White House to Stop COVID from Destroying America” (Post Hill Press), "In Excellent Health: Setting the Record Straight On America’s Health Care" (Hoover Press), and "Restoring Quality Health Care: A Six‐Point Plan for Comprehensive Reform at Lower Cost" (Hoover Press). He is also the editor of "Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Brain and Spine", the leading textbook in the field, now in its 5th edition.

Dr. Atlas has received many awards from leading institutions and societies in recognition of his leadership in policy and medicine, including the 2022 Encounter Prize for Advancing American Ideals, explained as follows: “Standing up to injustice and facing down the madding crowd of conformity requires enormous patience, equilibrium, insight, and courage—the most important virtue, Aristotle observed, because without it none of the other virtues can flourish. The Encounter Prize for Advancing American Ideals pays tribute to individuals who effectively embody this rare combination of virtues in their lives and work;” the 2021 Freedom Leadership Award, Hillsdale College’s highest honor, “in recognition of his dedication to individual freedom and the free society,” the 2021 Conservative Partnership Institute Freedom Fighter of the Year Award, CPI’s highest honor, "bestowed upon an individual for their courage and dedication to truth and liberty" and the 2011 Alumni Achievement Award, the highest career achievement honor for a distinguished alumnus from the University of Illinois in Urbana‐Champaign. In the private sector, Atlas is a frequent advisor to start‐up entrepreneurs and companies in life sciences and medical technology. He received his MD degree from the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

This event will be moderated by Todd Zwyicki, VSCTP fall 2023. 

Parking Information

Short term, paid parking is available on campus in lots 205, 203, or 324. Visit the CU campus map for directions and additional parking options. For more information about short-term parking at CU, contact Parking Services at 303-735-PARK (7275).


In a Nutshell: Restoring Trust After COVID (student event - space is limited)

November 15, 2023, 4 - 5 pm, ATLAS Institute Room 202 (ATLS 202)
Join Benson Center Director Daniel Jacobson at 4 pm in the ATLAS Institute Room 202 (ATLS 202) for a preview of the Scott Atlas lecture. During the pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas was a dissenting voice on president Trump's COVID advisory task force, famously led by Drs Fauci and Birx. He argued against school closures, shutdowns of “non-essential’ services, and mask and vaccine mandates. His favored approach was to focus protection on the most vulnerable populations, and to remain aware of the costs of lockdowns — not just in economic terms but in terms of human lives. In his view, the public health officials who determined policy failed to follow the best evidence on all these issues, and the results were predictably bad. Retrospectively his approach seems to have been broadly vindicated, especially by data on excess mortality. Yet critics such as the current Surgeon General still say that Atlas advocated for letting the disease spread uncontrollably so as to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible. What, if anything, have we learned from the mistakes of pandemic policy, and from what we got right? And how can the public health establishment regain the trust it lost by pursuing failed policies and misinforming the public?
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