Jay Bhattacharya on why “expert” is a dirty word
Plus: Oliver Stone joins us to talk nuclear power in Austin; and happy holidays from your friends at FREOPP!
Why experts failed us during the COVID-19 pandemic: Jay Bhattacharya is a professor of medicine at Stanford University and a leader in the free-market health care reform movement. As a medical professional who was censored, banned, and vilified by his peers for questioning the wisdom of mass testing, lockdowns, and other policies, he has particular insight into the ways that leaders in government and public health failed Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. He sat down with FREOPP President Avik Roy at Freedom & Progress 2022 to discuss how the so-called experts got it so wrong on so many matters of vital public importance. Jay highlighted the way a narrow group of experts used their power to create an illusion of consensus when there was none and how the cult of expertise creates a cadre of elites who decide public policy without allowing debate or criticism. As we look for ways to make life better for all Americans in 2023, Jay offers many important lessons to consider from the failures of the past, including where and whether to place blame, how to reform regulatory and funding systems, and the danger of looking to the wrong examples for model policies.
→ To see FREOPP’s original work on reopening schools and the economy during COVID—as well as the status of billions of dollars in unspent COVID relief money—check out our dedicated page at FREOPP.org.
Oliver Stone joins FREOPP at our Austin screening of Nuclear: Too often, climate policy focuses on making energy scarcer, costlier, and less reliable—an approach that disproportionately harms lower-income people in America and around the world. Last week, FREOPP hosted a screening of the new documentary Nuclear: Time to Look Again, by Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone. Oliver's film makes the case that nuclear energy is the clearest and safest path to an abundant, affordable, low-carbon future. At the event, Oliver talked with Avik about the film and opportunities in Texas and Washington to maximize the potential of nuclear energy. Comments from FREOPP Visiting Fellow Grant Dever; Joshua Goldstein, author of A Bright Future (the book that Nuclear is based on); Isabelle Boemeke, an Austin-based pro-nuclear influencer profiled in the film; and venture investors in two leading nuclear startups, Last Energy and Oklo, rounded out the discussion. (Check out the trailer here.)
Don’t forget to give the gift of equal opportunity: Americans are united in believing that our country should be a place where everyone has a fair shot at success and that economic and personal freedom are a big part of how we achieve it. That’s why FREOPP’s world-class scholars deploy the tools of individual liberty, free enterprise, technological innovation, and pluralism to propose policies and reforms that improve the lives of those with incomes or wealth below the U.S. median. Our approach works: From higher education to health care, FREOPP’s research and policy recommendations are translating into legislative and regulatory change that helps millions of Americans.
We have found a formula for success, but we cannot do this work without the support of people like you. Please include FREOPP in your 2022 giving and be part of our work to expand opportunity for those who need it most.
See you in 2023! Happy holidays from all of us at FREOPP, and best wishes for a peaceful and prosperous new year.