Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

This historically informed programme will address long-standing problems highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which, if not engaged with seriously, are likely to impoverish future research and policy advice. 

It starts from the observation that many of the concepts used to understand and research human behaviour in the pandemic (and in previous epidemics/pandemics) were deeply flawed and restrictive. This is not a problem unique to the UK but is replicated across much of the world. It is symptomatic of a failure by academic groups to engage constructively with diverse communities and stakeholders. 

This failure to comprehend social action and the needs of diverse communities has compromised public health, deepened social inequalities and increased political polarisation. Widening divisions within countries are mirrored by increasing suspicion and hostility between them. This has weakened international efforts to control disease and exit pandemic restrictions in a coordinated way. 

A new conceptual toolkit, and new ethical frameworks and research agendas, are required if we are to have any hope of tackling the complex issues of pandemic response and preparedness. 

One of the first tasks in building a new research platform adequate to this task is to identify and convene the stakeholders – internationally and in the UK – who have been excluded or marginalised from research on pandemic preparedness and response (historically and today). This will better inform new research agendas and devise durable concepts and ethical frameworks for formulating research and policy advice.