Speakers: Professor Jason Sharman, Dr Charlotte Houldcroft, Ruhi Patel, Dr Sharath Srinivasan
Webinar recorded on 21 July 2020
As the United Kingdom, and large parts of the world, attempt to emerge from the lockdown, attention has turned to the mechanics of and precedents for recovery from major pandemics. To investigate this very topical subject, the College, the Centre for Geopolitics and the Centre of Governance and Human Rights assembled a panel of experts from the worlds of biological science, engineering, biotechnology, and political science. How have societies bounced back in the past? How will we identify and trace infections as the economy slowly returns to normal? How can we build enough ventilators quickly enough to cope with possible 'second waves'? How relevant is a discussion about recovery, ventilators and tracing in contexts like Eastern Africa? Who will the winners and losers of all this be, societally and politically? And is the Coronavirus epidemic really 'over'?
Professor Jason Sharman (Chair) is the Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations in the Department of Politics and International Studies at Cambridge and a Fellow of King's College.
Dr Charlotte Houldcroft is a King's alumna and a former College Research Associate. She investigates what the sequencing of ancient DNA from our distant relatives, the Neanderthals, can tell us about infectious diseases tens of thousands of years ago. During the pandemic she has been involved in sequencing the shifting genetics of COVID-19 as fast as possible, providing ‘real time’ data that can help map its spread and detect mutations.
Ruhi Patel is a PhD Student at King’s working with Dr James Taylor and Professor Geoff Moggridge to build a robust and affordable ventilator system that can be manufactured and maintained in low and middle-income countries.
Dr Sharath Srinivasan is a Fellow of King's College, Co-Director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, and the David and Elaine Potter Lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Studies. His research lies at the intersection of digital technology and politics in Africa, findings from which led to a non-profit spin out, Africa’s Voices Foundation. Recently, he has been collaborating with Africa’s Voices on a Risk Communication and Community Engagement response to COVID-19 in Kenya and Somalia.