Celebrating 10 years of European research excellence

So what has the ERC ever done for us…? Dr Christos Lynteris discusses the project and the unique benefits of ERC funding. This interview comes as the University of Cambridge celebrates ten years of continued ERC collaboration and fascinating interdisciplinary research projects.

Attack of the Squirrels, Der Spiegel

In a prominent article about contemporary plague threats and their historical contexts, in Der Spiegel, CRASSH researchers Christos Lynteris and Lukas Engelmann were invited to comment on historical medical photography and the spread of the Third Plague Pandemic in Manchuria and beyond.

Commenting on the diverse political and social implications of the plague pandemic and the reactions of local authorities and medical works, Christos Lynteris explained: “The Russian researchers were of the opinion that the plague is above all a race problem, and the problematic race were the Chinese.” You can read more about Christos’ previous work on the plague in Manchuria and other parts of Inner Asia here.

In contrast, the news of a plague pandemic was met with panic and disbelief in California. Lukas Engelmann wrote about the reactions of local citizens, explaining that when the truth came to light, some inhabitants acted firmly and pragmatically. Ground squirrels were mercilessly killed with gas, being blown up in reaction to the motto “a penny for a rat.” Anti-plague commandos pursued rats with bare hands. If the animals had actually been infected, the disease would have spread easily. 

The Der Spiegel article, “Attack of the Squirrels” originally featured in issue nr47, November 2015. The full article is available in German.