Investigative journalist Brendan Borrell joins us to talk about his thrilling new book, The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine.

In His Words…

I’ve tracked down the Canadian maple syrup thieves, gone deep inside the world of British mole catchers, and pieced together the epic story of a French adventurer who vanished in Alaska. I’m a correspondent for Outside magazine and my work regularly appears in other publications, including The New York Times, National Geographic, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

My book The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccines, was published by Mariner Books in October 2021. People magazine called it “a stunning look at politics, greed, ego – and scientific brilliance,” and it has been optioned for an HBO series. I also co-wrote a college textbook, worked as a science consultant on the production of Will Smith: The Jump, and investigated herbal medicine in the modern world as an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow.

I grew up in Texas, went to college in California, and spent six years catching frogs, snakes, and bees in Central America while completing my Ph.D. in biology. Now, I often write about people and their sometimes strange and often surprising relationships with nature.

Read the Book That Inspires the Show

Paul Samuel Dolman, author, podcaster, and speaker, presents What Matters Most (the book!) a series of interview transcriptions from more than twenty inspirational Nashville and Tennessee residents, including special guest the journalist and author Bill Moyers.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, former Governor Don Sundquist, Academy Award-winning actress Patricia Neal, Grammy Award-winning entertainer Wynonna Judd, and many more share intimate and inspirational aspects of themselves.

This twentieth anniversary edition also features bonus material from thirty more notables from Tennessee, including local business owners, spiritual leaders, coaches, radio personalities, authors, and educators.

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