Bach, the Universe and Everything: Schrödinger’s Pandemic

In this episode, we hear Harvard Epidemiologist Bill Hanage talk about the known unknowns of the coronavirus

If this is your first Bach, the Universe and Everything (BUE), welcome!
We like to think of the series as a community, similar to the one Bach enjoyed in Leipzig when he wrote a new cantata almost every month for the church where he worked from 1723 until his death in 1750. Then, the congregation was as open to science and new ideas as it was brought together by faith. It is in that spirit that we come together for a thought-provoking cantata and a talk from a leading expert in the field of science. Today we hear from Professor Bill Hanage from Harvard’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics about the known unknowns of the covid-19 outbreak.

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Schrödinger’s Pandemic

The Science:
Schrödinger’s paradox says that until something is observed, all possible outcomes are true.

In this special, online version of Bach, the Universe and Everything, Harvard Epidemiologist Professor Bill Hanage discusses the many outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic that scientists are grappling with due to the lack of testing.

The Music:
BWV 87 Bisher habt ihr nichts gebeten in meinem Namen (Until now you have asked for nothing in My name)
The text of this cantata opens with an imploring note: “O word that terrifies spirit and soul! Humanity, note the call, what lies behind it!”.  There is a feeling that humanity has overstepped the mark – which is rather what a lot of people are thinking at the moment…

Download the chorale or view in your browser  and sing along with us!

A special thank you to the Orchestra
Steven Devine director, keyboard
Huw Daniel violin
Margaret Faultless violin
Simone Jandl viola
Jonathan Manson cello
Christine Sticher bass
Katharina Spreckelsen oboe, oboe da caccia
Alex Bellamy oboe, oboe da caccia
Sarah Humphrys oboe da caccia
Sally Jackson bassoon

Jessica Cale soprano
Emma Walshe soprano
David Clegg alto
Bethany Horak-Hallett* alto
Jeremy Budd tenor
Hugo Hymas* tenor
Dominic Sedgwick* bass
Jimmy Holliday bass

*Part of the Rising Stars of the Enlightenment Scheme.

Chorale Guests
Marina Abel Smith
Annette Armstrong
Diego Becciolini
Kiki Betts-Dean
Madeleine Hodgkin
Hermione Johnston Stewart
Breandán Knowlton
Imogen Overli
Christine Roberts
Ruth Samuels

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In partnership with Kings Place, the Institute of Physics, and University of Oxford’s Mathematics Institute.