Season 3

Burden of Proof
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“He called to wish me ‘Happy Birthday.’ Then he said, ‘I’m failing everything.’”

In 2013, Malcolm gave a talk at the University of Pennsylvania on the subject of proof. How much evidence do we need of the harmfulness of some behavior, before we act? The lecture was about the long-ago fight over miner’s asthma — and about the unexpected death of a Penn student named Owen Thomas. Revisionist History returns to the question at the heart of the the talk, with a visit to Owen Thomas’s family.