Pandemic! The global threat of deadly diseases

Join us for an evening of talks and lively discussion about the global spread of infectious diseases, with expert speakers from malaria genetics and immunology.

Date: Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Time: 18:15 to 21:15 (doors open at 18:00)
VenueThe Cambridge Union Society 
Registration: The event is free and open to all.

Follow the event on Twitter: #scisoc2015

About the event

The threat of rapidly spreading infectious disease has captured our imagination. The success of Hollywood blockbusters such as Contagion and Outbreak reflect this fear, showing how society might fall apart in the wake of a global epidemic. This concern is amplified by the knowledge that infectious diseases - caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites – kill millions of people worldwide each year.

The current Ebola crisis has brought the risk of a global pandemic to the forefront of people’s minds, following in the footsteps of other recent epidemics such as bird flu. But the sheer scale of the Ebola outbreak and its high mortality rate has attracted wider attention and concern.

Yet do we, in Britain, genuinely need to be concerned that these outbreaks taking place in other parts of the world might reach our shores? Pandemics are not a new threat, but are there aspects of our modern world that make them more likely? What can scientific research do to help us in the fight against infectious diseases? These are the kinds of questions we would like to explore in our Science and Society event.

After three talks from expert speakers in the field, we look forward to exciting discussions on these topics.

Speaker panel

Derek Smith (University of Cambridge)
The threat of pandemics.

Oliver Billker (Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)
Better the bug you know? – Basic bioscience underpinning infection control.

Kristian Andersen (Harvard University)
The 2014 Ebola outbreak and the risk of future pandemics.

Event website