By Emily Smith and Ann Boyd

Emily Smith: The Science of the Good Samaritan

"I don’t think people really understand what systemic racism, structural violence, and equity actually are because I think if you do, you realize they’re holy words — because they’re showing us where heaven isn’t quite on earth yet." — Dr. Emily Smith

Epidemiologist and professor Dr. Emily Smith joins us on the podcast to discuss compassion, public health, and the challenges of thriving as a woman in science. 

How do we live as true neighbors in a world that is designed more for competition and inequality than compassion? Epidemiologist and professor Dr. Emily Smith joins us on the podcast to discuss her book The Science of the Good Samaritan: Thinking Bigger About Loving Our Neighbors. During the height of the pandemic, Emily became known as The Friendly Neighborhood Epidemiologist through her social media outlets where she reached 3-4 million people per month during the years 2020-2021. I remember those days, and I depended on Emily’s updates to help me stay informed about keeping safe while the public health landscape shifted dramatically. It was a real treat to talk with her about her work as an epidemiologist, and also to hear her thoughts on life as a faculty member, as a scientist, as a global citizen, and as a faithful Christian working to integrate all parts of her life into a whole. And if you listen to the end of the credits, you’ll hear an excerpt from our conversation where Emily shares about thriving as a woman in science.

So jump right in! We're so glad you're here.

You can listen on iTunes or at The Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did.

Further resources for this interview:

Photo by Bango Renders on StockSnap

About the Author

Emily Smith is an assistant professor in the department of emergency medicine/surgery at Duke University and at the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI). During the COVID-19 pandemic, she also became known as the Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist through her social media outlets which reached over 3-4 million people per month during 2020-2021.

Before joining the faculty at Duke University, Dr. Smith spent four years at Baylor University in the department of public health and was a research scholar at DGHI for two years. Dr. Smith received her PhD in epidemiology from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill and a MSPH from the University of South Carolina.

Emily has been married to her pastor-husband for twenty years and they have two fantastic children and one spoiled golden retriever. On any normal day, you can find her outside gardening, reading in the hammock with a good cup of coffee, or trying to become a bird-watcher.

Ann is the Women Scholars and Professionals Podcast host and the interim editor for The Well. She has worked for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1997, exploring her interests in community, spiritual formation, and writing. Ann has a BM in Music Education from Northwestern University and lives in Chicago, Illinois with one husband, two spunky teenage daughters, and three snuggly cats. You’ll often find Ann baking sweet treats in the kitchen while listening to a podcast or audiobook.

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