As a physician, research scientist, and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci has worked on scientific advancements in the fight against every major infectious disease for nearly four decades.
During the mid- to late 1980s, I had the privilege of working under Dr. Fauci while I was a fellow in immunology at the NIAID.
He is the ultimate physician educator who continues to pursue knowledge and truth through science. His clarity has been a beacon of light during this challenging and uncertain time, and he has been top of mind in many of my recent conversations with the BrainPOP team when we discuss our educational approach to COVID-19.
I recently invited Dr. Fauci to join us for a conversation as part of our efforts to break down current events in kid-friendly terms. I believe his voice should be heard by all kids so they will understand the power they have to help shorten the length of the pandemic.
From my vantage point, one of Dr. Fauci’s greatest achievements is the way he navigated the AIDS epidemic during its early days. It was a time of tremendous fear in America. He recognized the importance of education, of talking openly about disease, and was relentless in providing the public with knowledge and understanding about HIV/AIDS. He fought against ignorance and broke stigmas. He empowered people with the information and skills they needed to take action.
Another great achievement, in my eyes, is his enormous impact on the biomedical sciences. Dr. Fauci’s ability to influence the White House, Senate, and Congress led to increased funding for AIDS research. This research, in turn, directly impacted the development of treatments used today for many medical conditions, especially certain forms of cancer.
BrainPOP has always focused on teachable moments. Twenty years ago, we began by tackling complex health and science concepts “at eye level,” and we continue to take this approach with every topic we cover across the curriculum.
Our explainer video on the coronavirus, released in February, was quickly followed by a new series, BrainPOP News, which covers timely themes related to COVID-19 and other current events. With science in the spotlight today, we have an opportunity to encourage kids to think critically, like scientists, and to consider future careers in the scientific and medical professions–to produce a new “Apollo Effect,” so to speak.
Our mission is to empower kids to shape the world around them and within them. There is no more powerful engine of success than kids’ innate desire to learn. We trust kids, their thirst for knowledge, and their hunger for understanding. Curiosity is the spark that ignites kids’ limitless potential. Creativity is the fire that lights the way to the next discovery.
We are very proud to share the latest episode of BrainPOP News, “Interview with Dr. Fauci.” It is our hope that you will take the time to listen and learn together with your students and children.
Avraham Kadar, M.D., is founder and executive chairman of BrainPOP. He is an NIH-trained immunologist and pediatric AIDS specialist who worked under Dr. Anthony Fauci during the early years of that epidemic. Dr. Kadar discovered his passion for science as a child with polio, and has spent his career making health, science, and other subjects understandable and relatable for kids.
Any reference to the NIH, NIAID, or its employees does not create or imply an endorsement of BrainPOP.