Image - Katie Hafner and Robert Wachter
Past Event

Robert Wachter and Katie Hafner: Creating the Science, Covering the Science

Join us in-person and online for a discussion with journalist Katie Hafner, who covers scientific advances, especially those by women, and her husband, Dr. Robert Wachter of UCSF, who is on the forefront of the digital transformation of health care and has been influential in advancing public understanding of the COVID crisis. Dr. Wachter coined the term “hospitalist” in 1996 and has overseen that medical specialty, the fastest growing specialty in modern medical history. His tweets on COVID-19 have been a trusted source of information on the clinical, public health, and policy issues surrounding the pandemic, garnering more than 500 million views.

Hafner and Wachter are at the center of advancing public understanding of science and health care through various media. We will discuss Hafner’s popular "Lost Women of Science" podcast, her groundbreaking nonfiction books, and her recent switch to fiction with The Boys. We’ll also discuss Dr. Wachter’s perspective on COVID—including lessons learned—as we enter a new phase of the pandemic, how health care will be transformed by digital tools like ChatGPT, and how to communicate about science in the face of uncertainty, political polarization, and misinformation. In addition, they’ll discuss the experience of working and writing together as a married couple, particularly when the pandemic forced them—like so many couples—into the same bubble.   

MLF Organizer
George Hammond

A Humanities Member-led Forum program. Forums at the Club are organized and run by volunteer programmers who are members of The Commonwealth Club, and they cover a diverse range of topics. Learn more about our Forums.

In Association with Wonderfest.

Photo courtesy the speaker.

September 5, 2023

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Katie Hafner

Katie Hafner

Journalist; Host and Co-Executive Producer, "Lost Women of Science" Podcast; Author, The Boys and Mother Daughter Me

Image - Robert Wachter

Robert Wachter

Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco; Author, Understanding Patient Safety and The Digital Doctor

Image - George Hammond

In Conversation with George Hammond

Author, Conversations With Socrates