Pandemics: the past, present and future

Wednesday, December 16th 2020


18:00 – 20:00 (GMT)

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The COVID-19 pandemic is still a colossal threat to humanity. What do we have in the innovation pipeline to mitigate its impact?

About this Event

Global attention on pandemics has been brought to the forefront as we are currently in the wrath of the COVID-19 pandemic, which swept across the globe at the start of 2020, rapidly spreading to five continents, with over 18 million cases and rising. Pandemics have decimated human populations over the ages, ranging from the Black Death to the Spanish Flu, their causal agents primarily being viruses and bacteria. As technology has enabled a rapid exponential expansion of humans populations and global movement, the potential for global pandemics is increasing in parallel. Therefore, it is pressing that we have systems in place to protect populations from any future outbreaks that have the capacity to become pandemic. Can we learn from past pandemics to prevent the spread of infectious agents? What technologies will we need to protect ourselves? This webinar will discuss the past, present and predicted future pandemics and address the factors involved in disease emergence and epidemiology and the technologies required to prevent or halt the spread of a pandemic.



Samuel K. Cohn, Jr is Professor of Medieval History at the University of Glasgow, fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and honorary fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Edinburgh. He has taught at Wesleyan, Brandeis, Brown, and Berkeley and was the first Federico Chabod Visiting Professor at L'Università degli Studi, Milano (Statale) in 2017. From the late 1990s, he has published and taught on two broad themes: popular insurrection and the history of plagues. His most recent book is Epidemics: Hate & Compassion from the Plague of Athens to AIDS (Oxford University Press, 2018), and he has recently submitted two books to press: Popular Protest and Ideals of Democracy in Late Renaissance Italy and Paradoxes of Equality in Renaissance Italy.

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