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NHS Voices of COVID-19: COVID Conversation online event

04 Nov 2021

Science and COVID-19, 12.30-1.30pm (BST) Tuesday, 23 November 2021

COVID-19’s social significance as a public health crisis is unprecedented in living memory and a watershed in the longer history of the National Health Service (NHS). The ways in which we live, work, and think about our health have changed profoundly and the story is not over yet. We do not know how, or when COVID-19 will pan out, but we do know that we are all actors in an historic moment.

At the start of 2020 the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a previously unknown and deadly virus, set researchers on a race against time to mitigate human loss and suffering through developing new tests, treatments, and vaccines. In the early days other scientific research ground to a halt as attention focused on COVID-19. Researchers have worked across nations to identify viral genome sequences, launch clinical trials, and develop vaccines. 

  • What are the potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on science, technology, and innovation?
  • What learning can be taken from the pandemic for future global health crises?
  • What have been the upsides for the scientific community of working at such a pace? And what have been the challenges?
  • What has been the relationship between scientific evidence and policy?
  • To what extent has the pandemic changed public understanding of science?

Join our panel of speakers to discuss science and COVID-19 in the context of building a national collection around COVID-19 for use now and in the future.


  • Professor Paul Dark - A UK-based clinical academic practicing in critical care medicine at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, The University of Manchester. NIHR National Specialty Cluster Lead, King's College London and NIHR National Specialty Lead (Critical Care). During the COVID-19 pandemic, he served as a member of NIHR's Urgent Public Health Research Advisory Committee for UK's Chief Medical Officers 
  • Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock - Associate Professor in Veterinary Public Health and Infectious Disease Modelling Bristol Veterinary School & NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Behaviour Change and Evaluation, Population Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol 
  • Dr Leon Danon - Associate Professor in Data Analytics, Department of Engineering Mathematics, University of Bristol. Fellow of The Alan Turing Institute, Director @rawdatauk

Register to attend

Questions can be forwarded in advance to

This series of events is part of a major public history programme – NHS Voices of COVID-19 – led by Professor Stephanie Snow and the NHS at 70 team at The University of Manchester and undertaken in partnership with the British Library. Supported by a grant from UK Research and Innovation, through the Arts and Humanities Research Council, we are developing a national collection of personal testimonies and in-depth reflections around COVID-19 that will be preserved as a permanent public resource for informing policy and practice and form part of a wider British Library COVID-19 collecting initiative.  

For more in the series please go to the conversations