John Green returns to 'Crash Course' for lecture about his (least) favorite disease

A thumbnail of a YouTube video with John Green's face beside the text "Tuberculosis Explained"

Author and global health advocate John Green has done a lot to fight tuberculosis, the world’s deadliest infectious disease

From grassroots organizing alongside his “Nerdfighteria” fan community to make diagnostics and treatments more accessible, to pledging an annual $1 million donation to TB care in the Philippines, Green has seemingly become the spokesperson for (or rather against) the disease.

Now, he’s educating more people, so they too can understand the implications of TB through a new online lecture.

“Crash Course Tuberculosis” is now available to watch for free online

“The story of tuberculosis spans far wider than most realize. The disease has left its mark all through human history worldwide and throughout global cultures — with impacts on contemporary fashion, geography, and so much more,” Crash Course posted on X (formerly Twitter) earlier this month.

“In this long-form deep-dive, host John Green will teach us about tuberculosis from a historical, cultural, and scientific perspective.”

Photo courtesy of Complexly

“Crash Course,” is a show created by Green and his brother Hank, who founded the production company Complexly, to bring dozens of in-depth, engaging educational videos to life for over 15 million subscribers. 

Years ago, the show’s only hosts were John and Hank

However, with the scaling of Complexly — as well as initiatives like Study Hall (which actually allows viewers to turn their YouTube time into college credit), and funding from the Crash Course Coin — a full team of hosts, educators, and animators now make up the majority of Complexly’s air time.

John’s return to the “Crash Course” screen will be the first in a series of “Crash Course Lectures,” which he says are “long, deep-dives into a specific topic with unbelievably beautiful graphics.” 

Brooke Shotwell, a communications coordinator at Complexly added in an email to Good Good Good: “A Crash Course Lecture is an individual long-form video that dives deep into a topic in a multidisciplinary way. In contrast, ‘Crash Course’ series are multi-episode courses on a broader topic; they include episodes that cover specific learning objectives.”

For example, she said, the show’s 50-episode biology series has episodes that run 10-15 minutes, and one of the most recent episodes covers DNA structure and replication, specifically. 

“The new lecture format will allow ‘Crash Course’ to stretch in some new ways and allow us to cover topics that we know people are curious about,” Shotwell said. 

“We’re also excited to welcome guest lecturers to write and host these lectures, give them a chance to present their POV on why they think seaweed, or statistical models, or a particularly deadly infectious disease is critical to know about, and why it is so fascinating.”

It makes sense for that first deep-dive to be about Green’s greatest area of interest. 

“If you’ve followed John Green on any internet platform for the past few years, you’ll know that… he has done extensive research into the topic, and has also led an incredible community effort through TB Fighters to make change,” Shotwell said. 

“Ultimately, the message is of hope and urgency that activism and awareness will change what happens next.”

The 50-minute lecture, which premiered with a viewing party and live chat where viewers could connect with Green, takes learners on a winding road to learn about TB from a historical perspective, and how we got to the contemporary moment.

It also explores the science behind the disease, including the causes, symptoms, and treatments — as well as the current factors limiting the effective treatment of TB across the globe.

“In the lecture, John Green stresses that we can choose to live in a future where no one dies of tuberculosis,” Shotwell said. “We hope this lecture will help people see that possibility, and work together to make it a reality.”

While the lecture is sure to be an exciting deep-dive for Nerdfighters who are already engaged in the fight to eliminate TB, it seems to have been made intentionally to reach curious minds of all kinds.

“Whether someone is studying nursing, history, public health, or human rights, or is simply a curious person who wants to learn something new and fascinating about their world, they’ll get something out of ‘Crash Course Tuberculosis.’” Shotwell said.

“We hope everyday learners enjoy these lectures, and that viewers are inspired to continue learning… even after the video ends.”

Header image courtesy of Complexly

Article Details

March 25, 2024 9:05 AM
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