Cautionary Tales

My podcast, telling true stories about mistakes and what we should learn from them.

Cautionary Tales – How To End A Pandemic

The eradication of smallpox is one of humanity's great achievements - but the battle against the virus was fought by the most unlikely of alliances. How did the breakthrough happen - and can we guarantee that the world is still safe from smallpox? Written by Tim...

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Cautionary Tales – That Turn to Pascagoula

For years, people had warned that New Orleans was vulnerable - but when a hurricane came close to destroying the city, the reaction was muted. Some people took the near miss as a warning - others, as confirmation that there was nothing to worry about. So why do we...

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Cautionary Tales – The Village of Heroes

Not far from where I grew up, there's a village called Eyam with a story to tell - a story of a plague, and of tragedy, and of heroism. That old tale sits easily with stories of our modern response to the pandemic: too many people seem unwilling to suffer the...

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Cautionary Tales – A Tsunami of Misery

Saving people from an urgent threat can cause their lives to be blighted in profound, yet hidden ways. A monstrous wave and then a nuclear disaster forced Mikio and Hamako Watanabe from their home. But being saved from the potential dangers of a radiation leak...

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