On The State of Science (Part 1)—Holden Thorp, Science Family of Journals

a drawing of a light bulb over an outline suggestive of the COVID spike protein

Episode Notes

This is a special episode of the show because for the first time ever, Ted, our normal host, isn’t hosting.

He’d ask that you keep your applause to yourself.

It’s a conversation between Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, and Marie Lynn Miranda, a professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics at Notre Dame, the University’s Charles and Jill Fischer Provost—and as we’re sure she tells people all the time, a former guest on this podcast. Holden and Marie Lynn spoke as part of a recent online series at Notre Dame called The State of Science. This is a condensed version of that conversation, which was recorded on Feb. 22 and focused on “Building the COVID-19 Knowledge Base in Real Time.”

Holden is a great person to talk with about this. Serving as the editor-in-chief of the “Science family of journals” means he leads the six journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, including the magazine Science, the premier global science weekly. In addition to his role at the journals, he is Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, holding appointments in both chemistry and medicine. He previously served as Washington University’s provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and as the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his alma mater.

Holden is also a big jazz fan. And even with a topic as big as the pandemic and the scientific community’s response to discuss, Marie Lynn still managed to sneak in a question about jazz records.

If you enjoy their conversation—and we’re confident you will—you can watch even more at provost.nd.edu/state-of-science.


Episode Transcript

*Note: We do our best to make these transcripts as accurate as we can. That said, if you want to quote from one of our episodes, particularly the words of our guests, please listen to the audio whenever possible. Thanks.

Ted Fox  0:00  
(voiceover) From the University of Notre Dame, this is With a Side of Knowledge. I'm your host, Ted Fox. Before the pandemic, we were the show that invited scholars, makers, and professionals out to brunch for informal conversations about their work. And we look forward to being that show again one day. But for now, we're recording remotely to maintain physical distancing. If you like what you hear, you can leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts or wherever you're listening. Thanks for stopping by.

This is a special episode of the show because for the first time ever, I'm not hosting. I'd ask that you keep your applause to yourself. What follows is a conversation between Holden Thorp, editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals, and Marie Lynn Miranda, a professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics at Notre Dame, the University's Charles and Jill Fischer Provost, and as I'm sure she tells people all the time, a former guest on this podcast. Holden and Marie Lynn spoke as part of a recent online series at Notre Dame called The State of Science. This is a condensed version of that conversation, which was recorded on February 22 and focused on "Building the COVID-19 Knowledge Base in Real Time." Holden is a great person to talk with about this. Serving as the editor-in-chief of the Science family of journals means he leads the sixth journals published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, including the magazine Science, the premier global science weekly. In addition to his role at the journals, he is Rita Levi-Montalcini Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, holding appointments in both chemistry and medicine. He previously served as Washington University's provost and executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and as the chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his alma mater. Holden is also a big jazz fan. And even with a topic as big as the pandemic and the scientific community's response to discuss, Marie Lynn still managed to sneak in a question about jazz records. If you enjoy their conversation, and I'm confident you will, you can watch even more at provost.nd.edu/state-of-science. (end voiceover)

Marie Lynn Miranda  2:28  
So hey, Holden, welcome to The State of Science.

Holden Thorp  2:31  
Great to be with you. Thanks for inviting me to talk to you today. Looking forward to it.

Marie Lynn Miranda  2:36  
So take us back to the early days of the pandemic, February, March, April of 2020. When did you realize how large of an impact COVID-19 was going to have on all of our lives?

Holden Thorp  2:49  
Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, last year, the AAAS meeting was in Seattle, and it was right around this time, and we debated whether we were going to go and have the meeting, like a lot of these conversations that have been happening, but we consulted with the public health people in the state of Washington and decided to go ahead with it. In retrospect, we were very close to where a lot of this was getting started. But fortunately, to my knowledge, no one at least at our organization got COVID on that trip. But there was a lot of talk even then about this, and Bill Gates gave a big plenary lecture at that meeting, and he said he was very worried about coronavirus then. When I got back to the office, the person who works with me who does life sciences for us, Valda Vinson, came in and said she had the structure of the spike protein submitted to us by Barney Graham and Jason McLellan. And I said, What's the spike protein? (laughs) I didn't know. It's now the most famous protein in the world; I think it's passed insulin as the world's most famous protein. So, you know, we rushed the spike protein structure straight through, and within another three weeks, we had sent everybody home. And then I started getting papers saying things like we were going to be in lockdown for six months, which seemed like a long time. But by April, we ran a paper from Marc Lipsitch's group that turned out to be pretty accurate that it was going to be about 18 months, and then we might have periods on and off after that. So, you know, that was kind of--between the middle of February and the middle of April I think is when this became pretty obvious how big it was going to be.

Marie Lynn Miranda  4:53  
So in a role like being editor-in-chief of Science, how do you balance the need to disseminate good science in the most expeditious way as possible while at the same time making sure that the science is subjected to significant peer review?

Holden Thorp  5:10  
Yeah, well, at the very beginning--can't remember if it was before we went to Seattle or right when we came back, but sometime in February--we agreed with our sibling journals--Nature, New England Journal [of Medicine], JAMA, Lancet, and several others--to a set of principles that we were all going to use to document this. The first would be, we wouldn't put any of the final versions of the papers behind the paywall, which we haven't done. We don't do that for public health papers, anyway. So for us, that was no big deal, we would have done that anyway. We encouraged everybody who submitted to us to post a pre-print. We can't force people to do that, but we like pre-prints because they take the pressure off of us to go as fast as possible. And so pre-print for those who don't know is usually the version of the paper that you've sent to the journal; you post it on a server somewhere, and that allows other experts in the field to look at the data so that the science can keep moving forward. And then we agreed to review things as quickly as possible. Our record was the spike protein paper we got on February 10, and we published on February 19.

Marie Lynn Miranda  6:37  

Holden Thorp  6:38  
That's a testament to my colleagues, the editors and the proofreaders and copy editors and all the operations people that do the posting. But it's also a testament to the reviewers who turned it around that fast. We've come close to that on a few other really important papers. But in every case, we've always felt like we had whatever time we needed to get it right if the preprint were already out there because we wouldn't be holding back progress towards conquering the pandemic.

Marie Lynn Miranda  7:12  
Something you said has caught my attention. So that kind of conversation and collaboration with the other editors from the major science publications, is that common? Or is that something that was spurred on because of the pandemic?

Holden Thorp  7:26  
I think it's pretty common. But you know, it's a lot like when we were both provosts, and we would have meetings together even though our schools sometimes competed with each other in sports or for hiring faculty or various things. There were plenty of things for us to collaborate on and commiserate about and support each other on, and it's very similar with me and Magdalena Skipper, who runs Nature, and Eric Rubin, who does New England Journal, and John Pham at Cell and Richard Horton at Lancet. There's a bunch of us that meet periodically to get together. We have very collegial relationships.

Marie Lynn Miranda  8:07  
So Holden, we're spending a lot of time talking about vaccines right now. And I'm going to get to that in a minute. But it wasn't that long ago where we were struggling to figure out how to test for the coronavirus. So what were some of the biggest hurdles in figuring out how to test effectively for the coronavirus, and are there lessons learned that can be applied in future situations?

Holden Thorp  8:31  
Oh, yeah, well, the biggest lesson is that the United States was not even close to being ready to get testing where it needed to get. There was not a sense of urgency from the top, that's for sure. But it's also true that the CDC made some very big mistakes. First, they turned down using the World Health Organization's test, and then they botched their own version of the test. And that cost months and really, unfortunately set the tone for the United States to underperform the world when it comes to tackling COVID. So the testing was very important. But as I remind people, imagine if COVID had come along before we had PCR. For some of the younger people watching this, they probably don't remember a time when we didn't have PCR, but you and I were both already well into our faculty careers.

Marie Lynn Miranda  9:30  
I remember a time when we didn't have personal computers.

Holden Thorp  9:33  
(laughs) Okay, right. So imagine if we didn't have PCR, we wouldn't have had a way to do the testing and the sequencing and everything that needed to be done. So on the one hand, you know, the technology and the basic research that went behind it was in a very good place, but the preparedness of the federal government to prepare and approve tests and deal with deciding whether to do its own test or whether to use another country's test, you know, we were just not ready for any of that. And we need to be in much better shape when the next pandemic comes around. Hopefully we will be.

Marie Lynn Miranda  10:16  
What's your sense of progress toward treatments that might be used to greatly dampen the symptoms of COVID-19 if you become positive? So something like the equivalent of Tamiflu, except for the coronavirus? What do you think are the most promising treatments?

Holden Thorp  10:31  
It's early to tell. I think it could be an inhibitor of the reverse transcriptase. Or it could be an inhibitor of the main protease. We published all those structures. And at the time, we said, you know, hopefully this is what we can get a small molecule to, just like we have for HIV; we have protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors. And there's no reason why the same thing can't work for coronavirus. The problem is that to get a novel small molecule all the way from being synthesized into and through the clinic where, you know, unlike with a vaccine or an antibody, the toxicology is much more challenging and has to be done much more carefully--the road for that is much longer. So I'm hopeful. There's a reverse transcriptase inhibitor that looks promising, would be great to see that happen. That would really, as you point out, make treating COVID just like treating the flu, where once you start coming down with it, you could take one of these small molecule drugs and do so safely and take it at home and not have to be admitted to the hospital and all the things you have to have with a drug that has to be infused. So that is the ultimate end game. I'm optimistic we will be in a much better place long before we get that. But in terms of making sure that coronavirus doesn't come back over and over again, that's a very important part of the strategy.

Marie Lynn Miranda  12:22  
So we've talked a little bit about testing, we've talked a little bit about treatment, let's talk about vaccines. So I know that you aren't personally involved in the development of vaccines, but you have a sort of particular perch that you sit on as the editor of Science to sort of see how things have evolved over time. And I'm interested to know, what has stood out to you about the development curve for the vaccines? And can you talk in particular about why we're looking at mRNA vaccines, and what made their rapid development possible?

Holden Thorp  12:54  
Yeah, well, people were working for years on the idea of an mRNA vaccine or of the idea of mRNA as basically a vehicle for gene therapy, where you would use mRNA to introduce any protein into the body. And there's decades of basic research that went into that. And if that hadn't been done, we wouldn't be in the position that we're in right now. And one of the people who doesn't get enough credit for that is someone named Katie Kariko, who was a professor at Penn and now is an important employee at the BioNTech firm that created what we call the Pfizer vaccine; it really should be the Kariko vaccine, although there's a lot of other smart people who have worked on that. But if that technology hadn't been building up, we wouldn't be in the situation that we're in now on the good side. And I have to say I was one of the people who thought that it was too speculative to try the mRNA vaccine. I thought it was more likely that the adenovirus vaccine or even the inactivated virus would be the quickest way to get there. But you got to give the Pfizer/BioNTech folks a lot of credit, and you have to give a lot of credit to Barney Graham and Jason McLellan and Kizzmekia Corbett. When they sent us the structure of the spike protein, they were already formulating what we now call the Moderna vaccine.

Marie Lynn Miranda  14:36  

Holden Thorp  14:37  
So those folks deserve a lot of credit. And I am personally invested in this in one way, which is that I'm in the Novavax clinical trial. I'm patient number 43. And I did that because I think that's a promising vaccine. It's a nanoparticle with the engineered spike protein in it, and I'm very anxious to see that get to market because it's easy to store. And it should have all the advantages of the mRNA vaccine except much easier to manufacture and store. And so I put my money where my mouth was on Novavax's product, and we'll see if it ends up working out.

Marie Lynn Miranda  15:22  
You know, it's interesting because I think that as the vaccines were first starting to be developed, if you had done a survey of scientists, they would not have bet on mRNA vaccines. But now I feel like everybody's saying, Oh, yeah, I thought it was mRNA vaccines all along. (laughs)

Holden Thorp  15:40  
No, I think there's too many emails from me saying I didn't think mRNA vaccines were gonna work for me to revise history in that way. (laughs)

Marie Lynn Miranda  15:51  
So I feel comfortable saying this: We're both science nerds. I hope you feel comfortable with my saying that about you. So, you know, what has impressed you most about the science around COVID-19? I know that you and I were texting furiously when the Regeneron studies first came out. I know this because truth be told, I was actually in the middle of a leadership retreat here at the University of Notre Dame, and somebody asked me a question while I was texting with you about the Regeneron studies. (laughs)

Holden Thorp  16:20  
Oh no.

Marie Lynn Miranda  16:20  
And I didn't quite catch it. So anyway, what's made you sort of just stop and think, Wow, when you've seen the science?

Holden Thorp  16:31  
Yeah, I was excited about those antibodies. But I think the variants--well, I think the vaccines are going to do fine against the variants; the monoclonal antibodies are probably going to have a harder time because there's just either one or two of them, and it's easy enough for a mutation to hit that one epitope. No, I think what has amazed me the most really is just the extent to which so many people dropped what they were doing to work on this, rearranged their lives, people whose families may have been either impacted with the virus itself or by the effects of the pandemic--kids not in school or [a] family member losing a job or a family member getting sick. And yet, the valiant troops of science showed up day after day after day to get us this deep understanding of how this whole thing works. And to, you know, get us these vaccines, which do appear to be able to get us to where we can have, at least maybe by the fall, Notre Dame can have a normal, close to a normal school year, with fans at the football games and parents coming for move-in and all those things that we've been so desperately hoping would happen again. I think, you know, it looks like there's an excellent chance we'll get a good portion of that, and these vaccines are the credit. But the vaccines are standing on the shoulders of lots of basic science that has gone on over the years, and also a lot of basic work in the last year to understand the behavior of the virus and how the various parts of the immune system respond to it and to the vaccine.

Marie Lynn Miranda  18:31  
So is there a part of you that thinks about everything that we've learned about the basic science that made it possible for us to develop these vaccines so quickly and what that means about funding for basic science?

Holden Thorp  18:46  
Oh, yeah, well, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (laughs) is very committed to robust funding for science around the country. And my boss, Sudip Parikh, it's certainly important in his job description to appear before Congress and give good reasons why support for science should be there. And this is, if we've ever had a moment to make that case, you know, in the last 20 or 30 years, this is certainly it. I mean, a lot of people believe that science's what's going to get us to the other side of the pandemic. I worry that not everyone is seeing that or wants to see it, and that it won't register. And I was more worried about that, I don't know, around the end of the year or so when it was less clear that we might actually make it to the other side of this. Now I see, you know, there seems to be a building appreciation for the fact that science has produced this. We're seeing people become less hesitant about taking the vaccine, and we're seeing less sort of arguing about, you know, the various kinds of non-pharmaceutical interventions that we need to be doing. So that's all going in the right direction. And let's hope that ends up leading to greater support for basic research at Notre Dame and lots of other universities around the country.

Marie Lynn Miranda  20:19  
Absolutely. So I'm going to push a little bit on this, how people perceive science, whether at this particular point in the pandemic or more broadly. You know, there are some parts of society, we certainly see it all over various corners of the Internet, that, you know, use COVID-19 as an example of, Well, at some point, the scientists said this, and then they said that, and then they said this other thing, and this is all a sign that researchers don't actually know what they're talking about. And so how do we, as members of the scientific community, push back against that sentiment, push back against those conversations that are occurring? And how do we go about communicating more effectively to the general public about what the scientific method is like and how we should expect science to evolve, especially around a brand new issue like coronavirus?

Holden Thorp  21:13  
This is our moment to figure this out, and we need to, desperately. And there are several pieces of this, and you know, in my role writing editorials or soliciting them or other parts of commentary for the journals, you know, these are a set of topics that I'm particularly focused on and will be even more so in the next year. I think that the biggest problem we have is that we have allowed the rest of the world to think of science as something that drops out of the sky in a textbook that is fixed. And that's because we've sat by while we let people teach it that way. We know that's not what it is. We know that science is a living, breathing, dramatic, honorably self-correcting process carried out by fallible human beings, who argue and propose things that are wrong, and sometimes have a hard time admitting that their hypotheses are incorrect and do all the same things that people in every other profession do. And pop culture hasn't helped us because there's lots of TV shows about physicians and lawyers and law enforcement, and very few about scientists. And even those that are there tend to either be very sort of sci-fi and not realistic about what goes on or, you know, poke fun-- which of course we deserve--at our nerdiness. But they don't really take anyone into the real-live life drama of creating the enduring scientific record that we're all in the process of trying to create. So we need help from popular culture on that to give us some real stories of real scientists that inspire the next generation and help everyone understand that this is a process.

Now we don't help ourselves in at least two ways that I can think of. One is when we say something prematurely and then have to correct it without explaining that this is our best understanding at this particular moment. And certainly, with masks and COVID, we had that because unfortunately, at the beginning, there was confusion about masks. It was actually an interview in Science with the head of the China CDC that was a big part of turning the tide on that. But people who want to attack us are gonna say, Well see, you know, six months ago, you told us we didn't need to wear a mask, now you say we do. Every time that happens, that makes our job that much harder.

The second thing that I think has really hurt us is that we want people to appreciate everything we do all at once. (laughs) And not everybody is going to be able to do that. Because we spent our lives learning all this jargon and all these principles and all of that stuff. And we can't expect people in the wide public to suddenly decide that, Oh, yes, the Earth is billions of years old and life got here through natural selection and the climate is changing because of human activity. You know, I want everybody to understand and appreciate all of those things. But most people have to get there one step at a time. So we have an opportunity to begin that process now. Because if the vaccine allows people to hug their children and go to sporting events and do all the things they want to do, then that's a way to draw them into understanding all of our principles. But it's unrealistic for us to think that everybody out there is going to appreciate every single idea in science all at once. We're gonna have to get there gradually.

Marie Lynn Miranda  25:23  
You know, Holden, contrary to popular opinion, researchers and scientists are actually human beings. And just like everybody else, their lives have been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, whether it's because their labs were shut down for a little while or longer term, whether their labs are operating at reduced capacity, you know, they have children who are in school, it's taking longer to get things reviewed at journals, etc. So what are your biggest concerns about the disruption that COVID has caused for scientists?

Holden Thorp  25:56  
The biggest thing is the disproportionate way that it has affected people. If your kids are grown, then you had more time to do science, a lot of people, depending on whether you had loved ones who became ill and things like that. So I heard from people who said, Oh, yeah, I'm writing up even more papers. (laughs) But for young parents, and for mothers in particular, the data are clear that this has had a detrimental effect on their productivity. And that's basically just magnifying the inequity that was already there, just as COVID has magnified many other inequities that we've had in this country and around the world. So I'm very worried about that. I'm hopeful that this will spur universities to have more enlightened policies around making sure that folks are thriving, regardless of their parental status or their gender identity or anything else. And we've already had one editorial by Katie Collins about this, and we'll have some more stuff coming about this, both research on the data that are coming in and also, you know, commentary and policy pieces about what we can do about it. For the academy, that's something that I'm particularly worried about.

I'm also worried about the graduate students who are graduating into this economy. I happen to have one of them in my family who's a Ph.D. student in psychology. Fortunately, he's in his second year. So hopefully, by the time he gets his Ph.D., things will have evened out a little bit. But for the graduate students who are graduating right now, you know, I'm hopeful that the universities will step up and continue to assist them while we get to a better place. You know, when you and I were provosts, we talked about this a lot. A graduate student who doesn't get a job is not good for their them or their university or for science in general. The institutions and the scientific enterprise needs to take ownership of that problem and make sure that when we get somebody to make the bold decision to get a Ph.D., that we do everything we can to make sure that they're thriving when they get done.

Marie Lynn Miranda  28:37  
So anybody who reads Science, or certainly reads the editorials at the front of Science, knows that you were a very outspoken critic of the Trump administration, particularly with regards to how the administration handled the pandemic. So what concerned you most, and how are you feeling at least in these early days about the approach of the Biden-Harris administration?

Holden Thorp  29:03  
Yeah, well, you know, you never know why you show up to do a job. Somebody throws you the keys, and you try to figure it out. So I didn't know I was going to Science (laughs) to be a columnist and a critic of the Trump administration, but it's something that I was honored to do because I think that there are a lot of people out there, as I said, rearranging their lives to tackle the pandemic, who were coming home and turning on the news and seeing their president undermine everything that they were doing. So a lot of what I objected to was just the outright dishonesty. We know that Trump was tweeting that COVID was no worse than the flu; at the same time, he was telling Bob Woodward that he knew it was deadly and that spread through the air and lots of other things like that. I think the biggest mistake they made and the turning point in the whole thing was when Nancy Messonnier and Tony Fauci were pulled off the podium, and Mike Pence and Donald Trump were put in their place. And the scientists had to clear everything that they communicated to the public through politicians, who don't know any science. That doesn't make any sense. It was a terrible mistake that cost lots of people lives.

I'm gonna write editorials explaining how I'd like the Biden administration to do things differently here before too long. But on the big thing, which is, you know, are Tony Fauci and Rochelle Walensky and Nancy Messonnier standing at the podium without anybody lumbering over their shoulder or pushing them out of the way? No, they're out there speaking their minds; they've had a couple of hiccups on some of the communication around a few things, but they've admitted that they were disconnected and they've corrected them. So if you get the communication part right, and it's unimpeded by politicians, then, you know, the rest of it will take care of itself. So there are lots of things that the Trump administration did that I thought were wrong, a lot of political maneuvering, but the biggest thing was just not allowing the scientists to speak directly to the public. And we've got that back now. And so that makes me more optimistic about the future.

Marie Lynn Miranda  31:44  
As you know, in April 2020, Science published an editorial written by the heads of the Pontifical Academies in Rome, which here at Notre Dame, we just like to call them the "Vatican scientists." And the editorial was called "The moment to see the poor." And the editorial quotes from Pope Francis about how the pandemic has starkly revealed long-standing inequalities, and this was a moment for all society to stop and really see everything that was going on around, acknowledge these enduring inequalities, and then make decisions about how we're going to act differently because of what we learned. Because we don't want--the Holy Father was making the point that when we come out of the pandemic, we don't want to be in a world that's just like what the pre-pandemic world was like. So here at the University of Notre Dame, we've launched a whole initiative called Moment to See, Courage to Act, and we probably account for, you know, 1000s of people reading that particular Science editorial. So we're challenging people here on campus to think about, you know, what do you see, and what do you want to be different about the world, and how are you going to act on that? So I'll turn that question to you, Holden: What do you see right now?

Holden Thorp  33:05  
Well, I think, first of all, thank you for your support for that editorial. Those scientists had published with us in the past, and so we were brainstorming who else we'd like to get a piece from. My very wise editor, who is the one who makes me sound as good as I do in my editorials, suggested that we go to those folks for another one, and, you know, we were thrilled with the message of the piece and also to have something from them. Well, yeah, I would like to see, I would like to believe that we're going to a more equitable and prosperous place for the whole world. I'm concerned about that. Because even if you just look at the vaccines, I mean, we're all anxious to get our vaccine. But the truth is that the US is going to have plenty of vaccine by the summer, and everybody in the US who wants to get vaccinated will, and that won't be true in much of the rest, most of the rest of the world. And so, you know, that's something we all have to face up to. And at the time that piece was written, the poignancy and reality of that particular calculation wasn't here. So those folks were quite prescient in basically laying out the framework that we all need to be thinking about now, which is: How do we push the governments to do more? I do have a lot of confidence in the people who are running COVAX. Sir Andrew Witty is a longtime business colleague of mine. He used to live where we lived when he worked for GlaxoSmithKline, and he's doing a great job assembling enough vaccines to distribute around the world. But we all should support that. And, you know, the Biden administration just gave him some money. And the Novavax vaccine I think will be the cornerstone of their efforts. So we need to make sure that they succeed. And if they do, then that'll be better than we did with HIV and ebola and a lot of other global infectious diseases that didn't really reflect very well on the United States' values in terms of how they were worked out

Marie Lynn Miranda  35:34  
In our last minute, so I know that you're a jazz fan. If you were going to recommend three jazz records to our audience for people who are beginners--so for their introduction to jazz, what are your top three albums for people to go listen to?

Holden Thorp  35:49  
It's hard not to start with "Kind of Blue"; that's the most famous jazz album ever. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, the birth of modal jazz. I think it's the biggest selling jazz album ever. "A Love Supreme" by John Coltrane, the birth of, you know, much more improvisational jazz. Extraordinary moment in John Coltrane's life because he got kicked out of Miles Davis' band, and then he got his life together and he made even better music than he had before, and Love Supreme is very meaningful in terms of the history of African American music and Black history in general. And then, you know, since Chick Corea passed away last week, I need to put a Chick Corea album in there, and I'm gonna sneak in two again. If you like jazz rock, then "Romantic Warrior" would be the one, and if you like things that are, you know, closer to straight-ahead jazz, "Crystal Silence," which is Chick Corea and Gary Burton, is pretty unbeatable. But you want to go another couple hours, I could go through a bunch of other albums. (both laugh)

Marie Lynn Miranda  36:39  
We'll be sure to post your jazz album list on the Notre Dame provost website for everybody to get access to. Thank you so much, Holden.

Holden Thorp  37:20  
Terrific, enjoyed it. Thanks so much for having me on.

Ted Fox  37:22  
(voiceover) With a Side of Knowledge is a production of the Office of the Provost at the University of Notre Dame. Our website is withasideofpod.nd.edu.