12. November 2020

European universities discuss corona pandemic European universities discuss corona pandemic

Science and society in the context of global challenges

The Universities of Bonn (Germany) and St Andrews (Scotland) are hosting a digital panel discussion with high-profile guests on the role of science in the corona pandemic, set for Tuesday, November 17, 2:00 to 3:30 pm (MEZ). The public event is organized by Scotland House in Brussels.

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Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch, Rector of the University of Bonn, will kick off the event with a welcome address. The dean of the Faculty of Protestant Theology of the University of Bonn, Cornelia Richter, and the Bonn-based economist Moritz Kuhn will provide two different, non-medical expert perspectives on the pandemic. The overarching theme is the question of the relationship between science and the pandemic as well as between science and society in this context.

The global pandemic has highlighted the great importance of universities in giving a dynamic and innovative response to national and international crises. In combating the pandemic, all disciplines and especially multidisciplinary approaches are essential. The expert panel will discuss the regional and national responses to the pandemic, both in the UK and in Germany, and look at the lessons learned for future challenges for Europe.

The following experts are joining the discussion:

- Prof. Sir Ian Boyd, St Andrews: Biologist and former chief scientific advisor on food and environment to the UK government. He is currently chairman of the UK Research Integrity Office and a member of the World Health Organization's SAGE Committee.

- Prof. Cornelia Richter, Bonn: Dean of the Faculty of Protestant Theology and head of the research group "Resilience in Religion and Spirituality". Her interdisciplinary work draws a bridge between theology and medicine. She is currently leading a research project on resilience and COVID-19.

- Prof. Garry Taylor, St Andrews: Emeritus professor of biological sciences and founding director of the university spin-off "Pneumagen". A professor in St Andrews since 1999, he held numerous positions at the university, including director of the Center for Biomolecular Sciences and Master of the United College. His research focuses on the discovery of novel pharmaceuticals.

- Prof. Dr. Moritz Kuhn, Bonn, is professor of economics and member of the research cluster ECONtribute. He is also Research Fellow at IZA and CESIfo, Research Affiliate at CEPR, and member of the scientific advisory council of the Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on macroeconomics, labor markets, and inequality.

The event will be presented by Catherine Stihler. The holder of the Order of Merit of the British Empire (OBE) is the CEO of Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that publishes standard licensing agreements that allow authors to easily grant rights of use of their works to the public. Previously, she represented Scotland as a member of the European Parliament.

The Universities of Bonn and St Andrews have been strategic partner universities since 2018 and maintain close links in research, teaching and administration. The aim of the cooperation is to promote mutual understanding of the respective university structures and the exchange of scientific information, and to strengthen cooperation in international networks.

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