UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


IRDR Special Seminar: What’s Different About This Disaster? A Sociological Perspective on Covid

12 October 2021, 5:00 pm–6:00 pm

We welcome Dr Frank Furedi, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at The University of Kent as our guest speaker for this IRDR Special Seminar.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students




Sarah Jeal

Missed the seminar?

Watch this special seminar now on the IRDR YouTube channel.

Sociologist, commentator, and prolific author Dr Frank Furedi has been widely cited about his views on why Western societies find it so difficult to engage with risk and uncertainty. He has published widely about controversies relating to issues such as health, parenting children, food and new technology. In this special seminar, the first of the IRDR Monthly Seminar series, Dr Furedi will offer a sociological perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Frank’s books and articles offer an authoritative yet lively account of key developments in contemporary cultural life. Using his insights as a professional sociologist, he has produced a series of agenda-setting books that have been widely discussed in the media. His book Invitation To Terror; Expanding the Empire of the Unknown (2007) explores the way in which the threat of terrorism has become amplified through the ascendancy of precautionary thinking. It develops the arguments contained in two previous books, Culture of Fear (2002) and Paranoid Parenting (2001). Both of these works investigate the interaction between risk consciousness and perceptions of fear, trust relations and social capital in contemporary society.

Below are a selection of his publications but more information about his work can be found on his website: www.frankfuredi.com

  • 100 Years of Identity Crisis: The Culture War Over Socialisation, De Gruyter (2021)
  • Social Distancing, Safe Spaces and the Demand for Quarantine’, Society (2020) 57
  • Democracy Under Siege: Don’t Let Them Lock It Down, Zero Books: Winchester (2020)
  • Why Borders Matter: Why Humanity Must Relearn The Art of Drawing Borders, Routledge: London (2020)
  • How Fear Works: Culture of Fear in the 21st Century, Bloomsbury: London  

Follow Dr Furedi on Twitter

This seminar will be followed by a reception for staff and postgraduate students.

About the seminar series

The IRDR monthly seminars are open to staff, students, IRDR members and the public. Due to current restrictions on campus, only staff and students can attend in person, but the seminars will be livestreamed and available to view on YouTube afterwards. We hope to welcome members of the public back on campus soon.