S2, Episode 8: An Interview with Jay Bhattacharya

Posted by Benjamin Hannemann on May 9, 2024

Jay Bhattacharya


An Interview with Jay Bhattacharya

Four years ago this past March, America followed the direction of public health officials and went into lockdown mode due to the emergence of Covid-19. Yet by the fall of 2020, it became clear to some in the medical community that the soundest approach to the pandemic was to let healthy individuals resume daily life, while protecting the most vulnerable.

Medical experts from Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford led the way in promoting this approach by issuing The Great Barrington Declaration.

What happened next is a case study in government overreach and censorship. The Declaration’s authors were cast aside by their peers, shut down by the US government and threatened by the public.

Courageously, they continue to speak up.

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya is one of those experts and is our guest on this episode of Voices of Freedom. A 2024 Bradley Prize winner, he joins us to share his experience and what’s at stake for a free society and science and research when free speech is denied.

Bhattacharya is Professor of Health Policy at Stanford University, Director of the University’s Center for Economics and Demography of Health and Aging, and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economics Research.

Topics discussed on this episode: 

  • What drew Bhattacharya to economics, medicine and health policy and why these fields are complementary
  • The point at which he realized that continued lockdowns were devastating
  • Why scientists felt compelled to self-censor during the pandemic
  • The reaction to the Great Barrington Declaration
  • Key takeaways from oral arguments in Murthy v. Missouri, a landmark free speech case
  • Where Americans can go to learn perspectives that the media doesn’t cover
  • The state of scientific integrity and debate
  • The professional and personal impact of speaking up
  • What it means to Bhattacharya to win a Bradley Prize