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Jameel Institute symposium - Tuesday 2 November 2021, 11:00 - 15:00 GMT

‘Data analytics in a pandemic: policy, politics and partnerships’ symposium

Thank you for joining our annual symposium which examined how data and the scientists that generate them have been politicised. We analysed the difficult and often fraught partnership between politicians, who answer to an electorate, and scientists, who uphold principles of good scientific conduct including objectivity and transparency. We also looked at how data has been communicated by the media and others over the last 18 months and the importance placed on data. Lastly, we examined what the successes and challenges have been around building effective partnerships between nations to ensure the mitigations strategies are equitable.

The symposium brough together esteemed panellists from a diverse range of backgrounds and from across the globe. This unique virtual event marked the second anniversary of the Jameel Institute which was founded in October 2019. Since the launch, the Institute has been largely focussed on analysing the impact of COVID-19 around the world. For all of our COVID-19 reports and planning tools, please see our COVID-19 resources page.

Watch the recording below:

Session 1 - Communicating science in the post-truth age

Session 2 - Data analytics at the science-politics interface

Session 3 - Partnerships and equity in the global response to COVID: success or failure?

Speakers included:


Professor Neil M Ferguson OBE FMedSci, Director NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Modelling and Health Economics, MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, Jameel Institute

Neil Ferguson is the founding director of the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis, the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Modelling and Health Economics, and the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics at Imperial College London. His research aims to understand the epidemiological factors shaping infectious disease transmission in human and animal populations. He informs governments, the European Union, World Health Organization and other public health agencies on emerging infections and infectious disease modelling.

Anjana Ahuja – Science Commentator, Financial Times

Anjana is a freelance science journalist and a regular columnist at the Financial Times. She also contributes to other outlets, including the New Statesman. In 2021 she was won the Association of British Science Writers’ Opinion Piece or Editorial of the Year award for an FT column advocating for flexibility in the Covid vaccine dosing schedule, later adopted as policy.

Fiona Fox – Chief Executive, Science Media Centre

Fiona Fox is the chief executive and founding director of the Science Media Centre, which, since it was established in 2002, has become an indispensable resource for science journalists. She a has a degree in journalism and many years of experience working in media relations for high profile national organisations. Her career includes stints working for, amongst others, the Equal Opportunities Committee, the National Council for One Parent Families, and CAFOD (a leading aid agency).

Professor Christian Drosten -  Head of Administrative Office for Global Health and Director Institute of Virology

Professor Christian Drosten is a physician by training. He is board certified in virology, medical microbiology and infection epidemiology. He started his professional career at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, where he discovered the unknown virus causing SARS in 2003 and developed a diagnostic test that enabled public health authorities worldwide to stop the agent before it could develop into a pandemic. In 2007, at age 34, he became the founding director of the Institute of Virology at University of Bonn Medical Centre. Since 2017 he heads the Institute of Virology of the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Drosten has co-authored more than 450 peer-reviewed papers and coordinated research consortia funded by the European Union, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the German Ministry of Research. He received the German Federal Cross of Merit twice (2005, 2020), for his research work and broader contribution to countering the SARS epidemic and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Nyka AlexanderHealth Emergency Communications, WHO  

A former broadcast journalist, Nyka Alexander has worked with WHO since 2008 when she joined the organization in their China office. She leads the team of communicators who work on emergencies, from disease outbreaks to humanitarian crises. Since 2008, she has deployed to emergency responses around the world, from Ebola outbreaks in Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Zika in Suriname, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, plague in Madagascar, and polio in Ukraine. She is the communications focal point in WHO's incident management team for COVID-19, and has been working on the disease since thefirst alerts came in. Her academic degrees are in physics, journalism and security policy.

Nick Robinson – British broadcaster, BBC Radio 4

Nick is a well-respected & familiar face and voice on television and radio with over 30 years’ experience in reporting and broadcasting. He presents Radio 4’s flagship ‘Today’ programme & his weekly ‘Political Thinking’ podcast which is now on TV & radio too. He spent a decade as the BBC’s Political Editor covering Prime Ministers Blair, Brown and Cameron. He was also ITV's Political Editor. Nick’s Twitter feed is followed by around a million people. His ‘Election Notebook’ was a Sunday Times bestseller. He has made documentaries on Sir Alex Ferguson’s career, the history of the Brexit negotiation & The truth about immigration.

Professor Dame Angela McLean- Chief Scientific Advisor, Ministry of Defence

Professor Dame Angela McLean DBE FRS Chief Scientific Adviser Angela is MOD’s most senior Science and Technology (S&T) Adviser. She provides strategic leadership for S&T in MOD, sets strategic direction for S&T in Defence and oversees more than £350m of annual research. She is currently Professor of Mathematical Biology in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of All Souls College.

Dr Anders Tegnell - State Epidemiologist of Sweden

Dr. Anders Tegnell is the State Epidemiologist of Sweden, the Deputy Director General as well as the Head of the Department of Public Health Analysis and Data Management at the Public Health Agency. He is a medical doctor with a PhD in infectious diseases and a Master in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Tegnell has extensive experience of leading different Swedish government agencies at different levels in the field of public health, disease control and preparedness for health threats, and has also experience from international work, for example from Laos in 1990-1993 (WHO) and from DRC during the Ebola outbreak in 1995.

Amanda Glassman - Executive Vice President, CEO of CGD Europe, and Senior Fellow Center for Global Development

Amanda Glassman is executive vice president and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and also serves as chief executive officer of CGD Europe. Her research focuses on priority-setting, resource allocation and value for money in global health and aid, as well as data for development. Prior to her current position, she served as director for global health policy at the Center from 2010 to 2016, and has more than 25 years of experience working on health and social protection policy and programs in Latin America and elsewhere in the developing world.

Dr Richard Hatchett – CEO of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations

Richard J. Hatchett, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a partnership of public, private, philanthropic and civil organizations that supports the development of vaccines against high priority public health threats and technology platforms to allow the rapid development of vaccines against emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19. Dr. Hatchett was previously the acting Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and served as Director of Medical Preparedness Policy on the Homeland and National Security Councils under Presidents Bush and Obama, respectively. He received his medical degree from Vanderbilt and completed clinical training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Cornell and Duke.

Dr Matshidiso Moeti – WHO Regional Director of Africa

Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa and the first woman to occupy this position. She was recently confirmed by the WHO Executive Board after her resounding re-lection for the second term. Over the past five years, Dr Moeti has led a Transformation Agenda that is widely acknowledged to have improved the performance and effectiveness of the Organization. She made tremendous progress through the Transformation Agenda, which include improved response capacity to health emergences like COVID-19 pandemic and Ebola virus outbreak. The flagship of the Transformation Agenda has been the successful eradication of wild polio virus in the African region. The Transformation Agenda has since been adopted to inform WHO global reforms.

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard – Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, University of Oxford

Professor Pollard is Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford and an honorary consultant paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital and Fellow of St Cross College. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Public Health, especially in the pandemic.

Over the last year, the Jameel Institute have been organising virtual events focused on COVID-19. Please see below for all upcoming and past events for you to watch again. 

Past events

May 2021

Vaccine webinar

‘Where are we now? The Global COVID-19 vaccination programme’

The development of COVID-19 vaccines has presented the global community with many questions: how do we guarantee world-wide vaccine supply, what challenges do constrain health systems face with vaccine distribution, how are concerns over vaccine safety impacting uptake and what role has communication played in the vaccine rollout?

Watch our panellists discuss the learnings, challenges and opportunities faced over the last few months. 

Speakers include:

Professor Azra Ghani - Chair in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London (Moderator)

Professor Anthony Harnden - Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), UK

Professor Heidi Larson - Founder of the Vaccine Confidence Project

Professor Julio Croda - Former Chief, Department of Communicable Diseases at the Secretary of Health Surveillance, Brazil between 2019-2020 and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine in the School of Medicine at the Federal University of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil


November 2020

'Shaping the post-COVID-19 world' symposium 

Shaping the post-COVID-19 world

During these unprecedented times, we continue to learn how to control the virus, support and mitigate its economic and social impacts, and review how we can effectively prepare for pandemics in the future. Our symposium explored difficult lessons with views from central bankers, Nobel laureates, epidemiologists, public health policymakers. This unique virtual event marked the first anniversary of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics which was founded in October 2019.

Watch our Symposium 'Shaping the post-COVID-19 world' - YouTube. Since the launch, the Institute has been largely focussed on analysing the impact of COVID-19 around the world. For all of our COVID-19 reports and planning tools, please see our COVID-19 resources page.