Third Pod from the Sun

Third Pod from the Sun

Standing Up for Science During an Epidemic

June 21, 2021

Before COVID, before the swine flu, there was the bird flu outbreak of the mid-2000s. An international group of scientists came together to combat the deadly virus, including Dr. Ilaria Capua, a virologist, and now Director of the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Capua played a key role in helping to quell the outbreak, but little did she know that experience would not be the most trying moment of her career.

In 2013, Capua was elected to national office in Italy, the only scientist to do so up until that point. However, her triumph was short lived as she was charged in a criminal case accusing her of illegal trafficking of viruses. While the legal process dragged on, Capua was recruited by the University of Florida, Gainesville. A few weeks after moving to the U.S., she was cleared of all charges in Italy as the accusations were baseless with no facts to back them up.

In this episode of AGU’s podcast Third Pod from the Sun, AGU chatted with Capua about her work with viruses, overcoming a smear campaign, and the value of being surrounding by great peers and team members. 

This episode was produced by Kelly McCarthy and Shane M Hanlon and mixed by Kayla Surrey and Shane M Hanlon.