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Public Educational Media
May 4, 2021

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer, is a multi-platform collaboration among PBS, The New York Times Magazine, the Emmy-winning production company Nutopia, bestselling author Steven Johnson, and historian David Olusoga.

The centerpiece of the project, funded in part by AVDF, are four one-hour television episodes that debut on PBS May 11, 2021. Each of the four episodes will take a historical approach to investigating one aspect of medicine and public health that has played a central role in doubling human life expectancy over the last 50 years.

On April 27, 2021 the New York Times Sunday Magazine devoted its lead article and other pieces in this issue to the topic of the program as well. The cover article, written by Stephen Johnson and entitled “How Humanity Gave Itself an Extra Life” can be accessed here.

The programs, website, and New York Times articles seek to increase public understanding and appreciation of the history of medicine and public health, and the successful strategies that will lead to continuing improvement in health outcomes. In addition, the programs and articles explore lingering inequalities in health outcomes around the globe.  The goal of the project is to inspire the next generation of innovators, scientists, healthcare professionals, and advocates to solve the health challenges that remain with us today.

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