Chain of Events. Cause and Effect. We analyse what went right and what went wrong as we discover that many outcomes can be predicted, planned for and even prevented.


episode 37: Variola Birmingham

In 1978 on the cusp of the eradication of SmallPox a Medical Photographer became infected and would ultimately die from the Variola virus. We look at how admiration, promotion and delegation led to a wholly avoidable outcome.
With John Chidgey.

Investigation Report:

  • The Shooter Report (PDF)

Medical Analyses:

  • CDC Analysis of the R0 of SmallPox (PDF)

Links of Potential Interest:

  • SmallPox
  • History of Smallpox
  • Biosafety Level 4
  • A Bioweapon Expert Explains Four Ways A Pathogen Can Escape From A Lab
  • Review of Medical Errors in Laboratory Diagnostics and Where We Are Today
  • Pathogens Sometimes Escape the Lab With Deadly Results
  • 1970s Chinese pandemic was a lab mistake
  • Bio-Unsafety Level 3: Could the Next Lab Accident Result in a Pandemic?
  • SmallPox is not Dead
  • Caroline Foulkes looks back at the 1978 outbreak
  • Smallpox virus retention debate
  • Lessons learned from smallpox outbreak

Support Causality on Patreon
Episode sponsors:

You’ve tried a calculator and a spreadsheet but if you haven’t tried Soulver yet you’re missing out on a great app that fits perfectly with the way your brain actually thinks. Soulver is available from and also through the Mac App Store.

Visit soulver.appto learn more.Many Tricks:

If you’re looking for some Mac software that can do Many Tricks remember to specifically visit the URL below for more information about their amazingly useful apps. Don’t forget the return of Usher with the Usher 2 Pre-Sale!

Visit and use the Coupon Code (listen to the episode to get the code) for 25% off the total price of your order. Hurry it's only for a limited time!

Episode Gold Producer: 'r'.
Episode Silver Producers: Mitch Biegler, John Whitlow, Kevin Koch, Oliver Steele, Lesley Law Chan, Hafthor and Shane O'Neill.


 2020-11-26  41m