Faith, Science, and Vaccines: Christians Working at the Heart of the Pandemic

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How should Christians think about the vaccines developed in response to COVID-19? What was it like to work on the frontlines of science and healthcare during the height of the pandemic? Joanna Meyer talks with Julia Wattacheril, a doctor at the Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, and Praveen Sethupathy, a scientist at the Center for Genomics at Cornell University, about their personal and professional response to the pandemic.


On crying out to God:

"...the spiritual discipline of crying out to God became very intuitive in those [difficult] moments because we were reaching the end of our resources collectively as humans, as folks at the end of a scientific pipeline in terms of therapeutics, interventions, and not knowing how to deal with the larger scale and scope of the humanitarian disaster that was unveiling before our eyes."

On contributing to something bigger:

"There's something really humbling and calming and peaceful about this idea that it doesn't all rest on my shoulders. I don't have to all come up with it tomorrow, but that I am working methodically toward flowing a tributary toward this lake [of scientific knowledge] and there is a wonder, and even a luxury in the opportunity to be able to do that."

On scientific vocation:

"When their work is discredited, when their work is called into question, when their motivations are called into question, it is deeply troubling and distressing and although I was not at the forefront of the vaccine development myself, I know some of the people that were, and they are some of the most honorable, dedicated, committed, not just scientists, but human beings."


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