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The Role of Data in the COVID-19 Pandemic

More 'The Role of Data in the COVID-19 Pandemic'

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Leopoldina International Virtual Panel Series

Date: Thursday, 1 July 2021
Time: 15:00 to 16:15
Location: Online

Data is critical to understanding the COVID-19 pandemic. When tracking the spread of SARS-CoV-2, there is a strong focus on epidemiological data such as aggregated case numbers and the reproduction rate. Modeling can help understand disease dynamics and make predictions about the future course of the pandemic, and assess policy interventions by also taking into account clinical, serological, and demographic data. In public debate, characteristics such as sensitivity and specificity of PCR and antigen tests have attracted attention, while levels of efficacy and the statistical assessment of side effects are in the center of discussions on vaccines.

This Leopoldina International Virtual Panel will explore how data can help to support the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic. By taking into account international experiences in collecting, comparing, and understanding pandemic data, the Panel will discuss benefits and limits of data in informing public health responses as well as opportunities to increase preparedness for international health emergencies in the future.

The Leopoldina will welcome the following experts to the podium:

  • Simon Cauchemez, PhD, Head of the Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France;
  • Professor Christopher Dye, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, former WHO Director of Strategy, Fellow of the Royal Society, United Kingdom;
  • Professor Dr Gerd Gigerenzer, Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the University of Potsdam, Director Emeritus of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Member of the Leopoldina, Germany;
  • Professor Alessia Melegaro, PhD, Associate Professor of Demography and Director of the Covid Crisis Lab, Bocconi University, Milan, Member of the Health Ministry’s Technical and Scientific Committee on COVID-19, Italy.

This panel discussion will be moderated by German science journalist Rebecca Winkels, Director of Communications and Strategy at Wissenschaft im Dialog, and is part of the Leopoldina International Virtual Panel Series.

In July 2020, the Leopoldina launched a virtual format for global scientific exchange: Leopoldina International – a series of online panels organized by Leopoldina’s International Relations Department in cooperation with its international partners. Leopoldina International offers a virtual room for the global scientific community to convene and for the interested public to join the dialogue with scientists. Previous topics addressed the COVID-19 pandemic from different angles, including health behavior, vaccination, multimorbidity, mental health, and contact tracing.

Video Recording of the Event


The event is addressed to the general public and will be held in English. Admission is free of charge. Please register for the Zoom online event via:

When using the Zoom video conferencing system, the privacy policy of the provider applies: : https://zoom.us/de-de/privacy.html

Further Information


Christian Weidlich
Senior Officer, International Relations Department
Tel: +49 (0)345 472 39 868
Email: christian.weidlich@leopoldina.org

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