Current methods for the detection of contagious outbreaks give contemporaneous information at best about the course of an epidemic. Yet it is known that individuals near the center of a social network are likely to be infected sooner during the course of an outbreak than those at the periphery. James Fowler, the author of “Connected” and UCSD professor of Medical Genetics & Political Science, will describe an alternative strategy to better detect an epidemic. His research is based on a simple idea: people who have more friends will tend to become infected by contagions sooner than others with fewer friends. Thus, monitoring friends is a good way to detect outbreaks at an earlier stage. More information and online registration is here.