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Future pandemics


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10th September 2020 to 25th September 2020
Christopher Dye University of Oxford, University of Oxford
Deirdre Hollingsworth University of Oxford
Valerie Isham University College London, University of Warwick
Denis Mollison Heriot-Watt University

Workshop theme

With mathematical modelling currently playing a key role in informing public health policy on controlling the Covid-19 pandemic, infectious disease modelling groups in the UK and globally have necessarily been working in ‘response’ mode. This has left limited time for longer-term thinking about the challenges in modelling pandemics. A key aim of the Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics research programme was to address this need for longer-term thinking. As part of this, a wide range of different topics have been covered over the 5 months of research activity including: contact tracing, uncertainty quantification, expert elicitation, model inference, within-host modelling, Covid-19 in higher education settings, urban analytics and modelling in small spaces.


This virtual workshop ends the research activity of the Infectious Dynamics of Pandemics programme. It aims to bring together the diverse topics covered to reflect on what we can learn from the COVID19 pandemic and how we can be more prepared for future pandemics. In particular, a key focus of the workshop will be to see where and how mathematical and statistical approaches can aid and improve the prevention, preparedness and control of future pandemics.


It is planned that the workshop will include sessions on the following areas:

  • The emergence of new diseases – what will the next pandemic be and what can we learn from Covid-19?
  • Tackling new diseases – intervention choices.
  • The wider context – other diseases and the wider public health context.


This workshop will bring together experts from a range of different scientific disciplines, as well as geographical locations, many of whom are currently working at the forefront of the mathematical modelling work on the Covid-19 pandemic. Given the breadth of participants, and the topics covered within the research programme, this workshop provides a unique opportunity to take a step back and reflect on lessons learned with regard to planning, prevention and control for future pandemics.

University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons