D-Classified: Q&A with Geisel Professor Jay Buckey
For our first installation of D-Classified, The Dartmouth had the opportunity to sit down with Geisel School of Medicine professor Jay Buckey, a former astronaut who developed a program for coping with long-term isolation that has found new purpose amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Buckey, who now directs the Space Medicine Innovations lab at Geisel, spent sixteen days on a space shuttle mission in 1998, where he conducted research on the brain and the human nervous system. Upon returning from his mission, he began to study the barriers to long-duration spaceflight, prompting the creation of the Dartmouth PATH Program, which aims to address the psychological challenges of living with a small group of people in a small space for an extended period of time. While originally intended primarily for scientists working in isolation, Buckey and the Dartmouth PATH Program’s co-creators believe that it could also help those currently living in self-isolation. While the program’s website warns that it has not been specifically developed for social distancing, Buckey says that its methods for addressing stress, non-clinical depression and conflict between people in quarantine together may still be of use. To learn more about Buckey and the Dartmouth PATH Program, watch The Dartmouth’s first episode of D-Classified.