Watch This too shall pass

Written by: The Exchange

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences and The Science & Entertainment Exchange Present:

This Too Shall Pass: Creativity in the Time of COVID-19

In our next installment of this event series, we are continuing to focus on the ways art and creativity often thrive in a crisis, giving form to some of the most powerful expressions of science. Join us as we explore the role of creative problem solving among scientists and engineers, the impact of creative learning environments on the generation of new work in science and the arts, and the role of art in expressing important concepts in science to create impact.


Clifford V. Johnson’s work in science ranges from teaching and research to public engagement, where he strives to put science back into the general culture. His research strives to understand and describe the origin and evolution of the universe and its fundamental constituents, as well as the nature of space and time. Clifford recently wrote and illustrated a graphic novel featuring science called The Dialogues: Conversations about the Nature of the Universe (MIT Press).

Mike Smith co-founded the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt in 1987. He’s a Stanford MBA grad, a community organizer and a social justice activist with 30 years of experience leading HIV/AIDS and LGBT non-profits. Now living through his second pandemic, Mike is finding ways to help out amid COVID-19 — and inspiring others to do the same.

Molly Webster is a features producer at Radiolab and host of Gonads, a multi-part series that explores the parts of us that make more of us, including epic cellular journeys, deep-rooted biological fluidity, and how we teach sex education. In her earlier work, Molly investigated everything from international surrogacy and metamorphosis to what happens when you cannot escape your own beating heart. After studying biology in college, she graduated from New York University’s science writing program and reported and produced stories for radio and magazines.


The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.