Monday, October 11, 2021

Shadow of a Doubt - October 2021


October 2021

NCAS Public Lecture Series

Documentary Film Screening:
Race for the Vaccine

Followed by Q&A with Janet Tobias,
an Executive Producer for the film

Saturday, October 9, 1:30pm - 4:00pm
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center
2nd Floor (West Room)
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Bethesda, MD [map] [directions]
(Bethesda Metro station)
FREE admission – Everyone welcome, members and non-members

As news of the coronavirus broke around the globe, a small group of scientists jumped into action to tackle one of the greatest medical challenges of our time: to create a vaccine against a virus no one had ever seen before, and to do so in record time, during a deadly, global pandemic.

Rooted in rare access during 2020/21 to five of the leading vaccine research teams around the world, Race for the Vaccine tells the inspiring story of the unprecedented global quest to develop vaccine candidates in days and weeks instead of years, putting them through the rigorous testing required to prove that they were safe, and that they worked.  From the design challenges of the drugs to the pitfalls of recruitment, the pressure of politics to the logistics of mass manufacturing, we follow a handful of key scientists every step of the way, sharing their heart-breaking setbacks as well as exhilarating triumphs, in an emotional and uplifting insight into this extraordinary scientific endeavor.


Produced & Directed by Catherine Gale
Co-directed by Caleb Hellerman
Executive Producers: Archie Baron, Janet Tobias, Roger Lopez, and Helena Braun

Race for the Vaccine was co-commissioned by CNN Films and BBC. It is a co-production between Wingspan Productions and the Global Health Reporting Center based in New York. It is made in collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Tangled Bank Studios and with the support of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Watch the trailer for the film here:

Janet Tobias is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker.  She started her film and television career at CBS' 60 Minutes as Diane Sawyer's associate producer.  She moved to PBS where she created and executive produced the Emmy Award-winning PBS program Life 360.  Her 2017 CNN documentary feature, Unseen Enemy, sounded a warning call about the threat of pandemics.  Janet Tobias is also an adjunct assistant professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and a research professor of Global Public Health at NYU. She was a member of the Drug Forum of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences from 2009 to 2015.  Her latest film, Fauci, was released in select theaters in September 2021.

Health & Safety FAQs:

Will the event be streamed or recorded?

No, this will be in-person only.

What measures will be taken to protect the health of all attendees?
CDC guidelines and Montgomery County regulations will be followed, as specified here:
Face coverings must be worn by all persons in the County over the age of two years old when indoors at any location accessible to the public.

(This applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated people.)

A face-covering exception is made for "giving a speech or performing for broadcast or an audience, if no one in a location accessible to the public is within six feet of you."

Seating will be arranged to separate each person by six feet or more.

Refreshments will not be served; instead, bring your own beverage, or use the water fountain in the hallway.

I'd rather not ride the elevator to the meeting room, is there a stairway?

Yes, there's a stairway near the elevator.

Message to Current and Prospective NCAS Members

In response to the economic hardship and other uncertainties that our members may be facing, in 2020 NCAS automatically extended by one year all memberships that expire in 2020 or later.  Payment will be accepted for new memberships as well as renewals for 2019 and before: new and renewed will have a bonus year added.  Each life member may sponsor a new one-year membership at no charge.  (Double life memberships may sponsor two.)  Send your sponsored member's name and contact information to This offer will continue until further notice.

October PhACT Lecture

Our skeptical neighbors to the north, the Philadelphia Association for Critical Thinking (PhACT), will host their next online event on Saturday, October 16 at 2 PM ET.  Rob Palmer, who writes as "The Well-Known Skeptic" for Skeptical Inquirer, will conduct an interview with actor/skeptic John de Lancie and moderate questions from the Zoom audience.  Event details at

November NCAS Lecture
Psychologist Brian Sharpless will present "Unusual Psychological Disorders, Pt. 2:  From FOMO to Frotteurism," a follow-up to his 2019 NCAS lecture.  Saturday, November 6 at 1:30 PM at Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

AmazonSmile: Thanks to our members who are supporting NCAS!

When shopping at, you'll find the same low prices, vast selection, and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that a portion of the purchase price (0.5%) goes to NCAS! It's simple and automatic, and it doesn't cost you anything!

AmazonSmile's disbursements to NCAS in the second quarter of 2021 came to $24.84, meaning that nearly $5000 of purchases were designated in support of NCAS.  (As an example of how NCAS can put that money to good use, it's more than enough to cover an hour of a Montgomery County lecture room rental.)

Thanks again to our members who have chosen to support NCAS!

For more information:

Shadow Light
Some members and contacts of NCAS receive a postal notification of this and every new monthly Shadow of a Doubt.  The Shadow Light postcard announces the monthly lecture and highlights of the electronic Shadow of a Doubt, which is available online at  NCAS thereby reduces Shadow production and postage costs.  To further reduce costs, members and contacts can opt out of postal notification altogether, while continuing to receive Shadow of a Doubt via e-mail.  To opt out, send us an e-mail at

Time to Renew?
Be sure to check your renewal date above your postal address on the Shadow Light postcard. Send any queries to  Use the online membership form to renew.