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Public Health in the Media

Erin Brockovich exposes community crisis in environmental health

Erin Brockovich, the 2000 Academy Award-winning film starring Julia Roberts, tells of a paralegal who helps lead a class-action lawsuit against the Pacific Gas & Energy Company, accusing it of poisoning the water supply in a Southern California community. The film deals with themes relating to environmental health policy and risks to community health in the face of toxic waste.

Learn more about Environmental Health

And The Band Played On recounts turbulent history of HIV/AIDS epidemic

Randy Shilts’ 1987 bestseller documents, in encyclopedic breadth, the discovery of HIV and its subsequent proliferation in the United States. The book explores the intersection of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the public response to the disease, and the governmental forces that propelled — or hindered — HIV/AIDS research. Shilts’ account illuminates public health’s critical location in the intersection of politics, medicine, and public discourse.

Learn more about Social and Behavioral Science

Dallas Buyers Club portrays the fight for lifesaving antiretroviral medication in the face of political and social adversary

Dallas Buyers Club, a 2013 biographical drama starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, depicts the true story of electrician and rodeo cowboy Ron Woodroof after his diagnosis of AIDS. It highlights one person’s journey navigating the social and political stigmatization of the AIDS epidemic and the network of “buyers clubs” which provided life-saving, albeit illegal, medications through unregulated networks.

Learn more about Community Health

Contagion, a disaster thriller, shows the devastating impacts of how a new infectious virus can spread through communities, countries, and the world

Contagion, a fictional medical thriller, documents the spread of a virus and subsequent responses from public health officials and medical researchers to identify and contain the disease. The film depicts the impact to individuals and populations, including social and political implications. Contagion follows, and shows the interactions between, infected travelers, researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), conspiracy theorists, vaccine developers, and the National Guard.

Learn more about Epidemiology

Plague Inc. is a strategy-simulation app that allows users to create and evolve a deadly pathogen

In Plague Inc, the player uses epidemic models to create the perfect disease while incorporating realistic variables to mimic the extent and severity of the plague. The player is able to choose different plagues by evolving a virus that is able to adapt to new environments. The goal of the game is to complete the game before humans can develop a cure for the epidemic.

Learn more about Global Health