Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

Series reveals 300 years of medical breakthroughs that launched a health revolution - and reveals today's unsung heroes tackling Covid-19 and other public health threats.

Tuesday, May 11 at 7:00pm

Set in the context of the current Covid-19 crisis, Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer explores the lessons learned from previous global pandemics - including smallpox, cholera, the Spanish flu and others - and reveals how scientists, doctors, self-experimenters and activists launched a public health revolution, saving millions of lives, fundamentally changing how we think about illness and ultimately paving the way for modern medicine.

Historian and broadcaster David Olusoga (Civilisations, Black & British: A Forgotten History) and best-selling author Steven Johnson (The Ghost Map, How We Got To Now) combine their expertise to guide viewers across 300 years of medical innovation and go behind the scenes of modern medicine to meet the unsung heroes who are tackling Covid-19 and other public health threats. Olusoga and Johnson shed light on scientific breakthroughs and reveal how collective efforts around the world can lead to extraordinary outcomes, including doubling the human lifespan in under a century.

David Olusoga, says: "The revolution in medicine and public health that has taken place over the past three centuries is one of the greatest achievements of all time. The series is a history of unsung heroes and forgotten pioneers whose incredible stories deserve to be better known."

“Now more than ever, we need powerful storytelling that captures and explains the achievements in public health and medicine over the past few centuries,” says Johnson. “The fact that we have doubled life expectancy may well be the single most important development in modern history.”

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