Institute for Global Health


UCL Lancet Lecture Series

UCL-Lancet Lecture 2021: Lessons from the Pandemic for Science and Public Health

Jointly hosted by UCL Grand Challenges, UCL Institute for Global Health, and The Lancet, this online lecture will present key learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world continues to face this global health crisis. Dr Soumya Swaminathan will share insights on the international response to the pandemic and discuss the role of science in global decision-making.

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9:30 | Welcome and introduction

9:40 | Keynote lecture | Dr Soumya Swaminathan

10:10 | Response | Prof Alison Rodger, Professor of Infectious Diseases, UCL

10:25 | Panel discussion and Q&A | Chair: Dr Richard Horton Editor-in-Chief, The Lancet. Panelists: Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Professor Alison Rodger and Professor Ibrahim Abubakar, Director of the UCL Institute for Global Health.

10:55 | Closing remarks | Professor Ibrahim Abubakar

11:00 | End

About the Speaker

Dr Soumya Swaminathan

Chief Scientist at World Health Organisation

Dr Soumya Swaminathan was appointed WHO’s first Chief Scientist in March 2019. A paediatrician from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes. Dr Swaminathan was Secretary to the Government of India for Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research from 2015 to 2017. In that position, she focused on bringing science and evidence into health policy making, building research capacity in Indian medical schools and forging south-south partnerships in health sciences. From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases in Geneva.

The Science division’s role is to ensure that WHO stays ahead of the curve and leverages advances in science and technology for public health and clinical care, as well as ensuring that the norms, standards and guidelines produced by WHO are scientifically excellent, relevant and timely. Her vision is to ensure that WHO is at the cutting edge of science and is able to translate new knowledge into meaningful impact on population health worldwide.

Full list of Previous UCL Lancet lectures

2020 Lancet Lecture: Muhammad Ali Pate

2019 Lancet Lecture: Dr Rachel Nugent

2017 Lancet Lecture: Ms Lilianne Ploumen

2016 Lancet Lecture: Ms Cristiana Figueres

2015 Lancet Lecture: Ms Amina J. Mohammed

2014 Lancet Lecture: Ms Arundhati Roy

2013 Lancet Lecture: Dr Agnes Binagwaho

2012 Lancet Lecture: Mr Michel Sidibé

2011 Lancet Lecture: Professor Jayati Ghosh

2010 Lancet Lecture: Ms Helen Clark

2009 Lancet Lecture: Professor Lord May

2008 Lancet Lecture: Professor Michel Kazatchkine

2007 Lancet Lecture: Professor Adenike Grange

2006 Lancet Lecture: Mr Jens Stoltenberg

From 2001 to 2005, the series was known as the IHMEC-Lancet Lecture.  Speakers in the IHMEC-Lancet series were as follows:

2001: Clare Short (Minister for Overseas Development)

2002: Jeffrey Sachs (economist and special adviser to several UN Secretaries General)

2003: Vandana Shiva (environmentalist and social activist)

2004: Amartya Sen (economist and Nobel Laureate)

2005: Daniel Kahneman (psychologist and Nobel Laureate)