A series of three events examining the impact, developments and breakthroughs of the Covid-19 pandemic, including 'How to Build a Vaccine: Before and After Covid', 'How to communicate Data in a Pandemic', and 'Future Pandemic Preparedness: No Time to Wait on AMR'. All events feature a keynote speaker from the UK and panelists from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey. 

The events are moderated by Susan Watts, science writer. 

How to Build a Vaccine: Before and After Covid

'How to Build a Vaccine Before and After Covid' was the first in a series of online science and innovation dialogues organised by UK Science & Innovation Network and the British Council and dedicated to highlighting UK science, research & innovation and stimulating international and UK-EU science and research collaboration. The summary of the event is available here or as a pdf document below, while the full recording  is available here

The event discussed international collaboration leading to the vaccine, with the keynote speaker Prof Jeffrey Almond of the University of Oxford presenting developments in this respect. Prof Almond was followed by Prof Carol Mundell, Chief International Science Envoy of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Prof Virgil Paunescu, of the Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara (Romania), Assoc Prof Nils Rostoks of the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre (Latvia), Prof Borut Štrukelj of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), Assoc Prof Andrey Tchorbanov of the Institute of Microbiology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (Bulgaria), Dr Vladimír Zelník of the Biomedical Research Center, Slovak Academy of Sciences (Slovakia), and Prof Aurelija Žvirblienė of the Vilnius University Life Science Centre; (Lithuania).


How to Communicate Data in a Pandemic

The second the series of Science & Innovation dialogues, ‘How to Communicate Data in a Pandemic’, proved how the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted what is needed in order for science and data communication to be effective and transparent. The introduction was provided by Prof Carole Mundell, Chief International Science Envoy of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, followed by keynote speaker Prof David Spiegelhalter of the University of Cambridge and then other panelists. These included Assoc Prof Florina Bojin, Professor, Department of Functional Sciences – Immunology, Victor Babes University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara; OncoGen - Center for Gene and Cellular Therapies in the Treatment of Cancer (Romania), Prof Andrzej Fal, President, Polish Society of Public Health; Dean, Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (Poland), Assoc Prof Ivan Ivanov, Professor, National Center of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, National Reference Laboratory for control and monitoring of antibiotic resistance (Bulgaria), Prof Gkikas Magiorkinis, Professor, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; National Covid-19 Committee of Experts (Greece), Dr Ondrej Majek, Institute of Health Information and Statistics (Czech Republic), and Prof Maja Pohar Perme, Head, Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).

More about the event:

The word “data” has taken on new meaning in the UK. The Government has said that the latest easing out of lockdown will proceed by “data, not dates” and the phrase has become something of a mantra. Yet data hardly got a look in on the public discourse before the pandemic. Now, a daily look at “the numbers” is a habit. Everyone is hungry for a barometer by which to gauge the impact of measures to control infection.

Exactly how such data are collated, digested and presented to the public gets less attention. Yet grappling with pandemic data is a problem for all nations. And this became clear from the lively discussion at the Dialogue event ‘How to Communicate Data in a Pandemic’ in February. [Wednesday 24 February]. This was the second in a three-part series of Science and Innovation Dialogues, convened by the British Council and the UK Science and Innovation Network. Its overriding message was just how much can be gained if countries take time to listen to each other, no matter how distinct their cultures.

The recording of the event is available above, while the presentation shared by the keynote spaker Prof David Spielhalter and the summary by the moderator Susan Watts are available here or as pdf documents below. 

Future Pandemic Preparedness: No Time to Wait on AMR

'Future Pandemic Preparedness: No Time to Wait on AMR', with Dame Sally Davies, UK Special Enjoy on Microbial Resistance, as keynote speaker, which took place on 16 March 2021, was the third and last event in the series. Other speakers included Prof Bojana Beovic, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; Dr Agata Starosta, Marie-Curie Sklotowska University, Poland; Assoc Prof Serap Suduk ildiz, Ministry of Health, Turkey; and Dr Tomaš Szemes, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. 

To tackle the ‘second pandemic’, we need global co-operation as we learn the lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic: this was the crux of the message at the British Council and UK Science and Innovation Network’s event, Pandemic Preparedness: no time to wait on AMR’, which took place on 16 March.

Antimicrobial resistance is a natural phenomenon. Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites evolve over time until they no longer respond to the drugs we’ve devised to keep them at bay. This makes infections harder, or impossible, to treat. Unchecked, drug resistance will herald a post-antibiotic era, and the end of medicine as we know it.

Read the remainder of the the summary here or in the pdf document below, or watch the recording of the event above.

Please find the summaries of the events, prepared by Susan Watts, as pdf documents below. In addition, Prof David Spiegelhalter of the University of Cambridge, the keynote speaker in the event on data communication, has kindly shared his presentation.