INGSA Global Week of Dialogue 2020 – Science Advice & COVID-19: What are we learning?

Online Conference
September 2020

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With Covid-19 affecting every aspect of life and governance, the pathways between science, policy and society were exposed and scrutinised like never before.

In Sept 2020, INGSA coordinated a global event to begin to look at how readily and effectively the world was using evidence to inform the pandemic response – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Keynote – Dr Soumya Swaminathan

INGSA is proud to present a Keynote discussion between the Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, and Prof Rémi Quirion, the Chief Scientist of Québec.

Watch it now…

Global High Level Panel

Featuring science advice luminaries from around the world, the High-Level Panel addressed some of the main challenges the global system of science and governance faced, and was one of the highlights of the week.

Watch it now…

UN Special Roundtable – Science Advice & Multilateralism

INGSA is proud to present a Special Event Roundtable to discuss what the COVID-19 pandemic might mean for mechanisms of science advice and diplomacy in the UN and multilateral systems. 

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Asia / Oceania Regional Panel – Featuring:

  • Prof. Abhi Veerakumarasivam – Institute for Healthcare Development, Sunway University, Malaysia and Chair of INGSA-Asia
  • Sir David Skegg – Emeritus Professor, Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Preety Bhandari – Director for Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Division at Asian Development Bank
  • Professor Teo Yik-Ying – Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
  • Dr. Leah J. Buendia – Department of Science and Technology, Republic of Philippine

See the video at right…

The Americas Regional Panel – Featuring:

  • Dr Mona Nemer – Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada
  • Prof Rafael Radi – President of Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Uruguay, and Coordinator of the government’s science advisory group
  • Prof Roger Pielke Jr – University of Colorado Boulder, author of The Honest Broker
  • Dr. Esther Orozco – Emeritus National Professor and Consultor of the Mexican Chancellor
  • Ms María Estelí Jarquín (Moderator) – Consultant in Science Diplomacy – INGSA-LAC Steering Committee

See the video at left…

African Regional Panel – Featuring:

  • Dr Doyin Odubanjo – Executive Secretary at The Nigerian Academy of Science
  • Dr John Nkengasong – Director of the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Prof Aminata Sall Diallo – Professor of Physiology at University Cheikh Anta Diop, and Special Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Research of Senegal
  • Dr Shaheen Motala-Timol – Acting Head, Regulatory Affairs and Accreditation Division, Higher Education Commission, Mauritius
  • Dr Karim El Aynaoui – President, Policy Center for the New South (PCNS)

See the video at right…

European Regional Panel – Featuring:

  • Prof. Matthias Kaiser (Moderator) – Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen
  • Anne-Greet Keizer – Senior Research Fellow, Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy – former Executive Secretary, ESAF
  • Alessandra Zampieri – Head of Unit, European Commission Joint Research Centre – Disaster Risk Management
  • Prof Christian Drosten – Director, Institute of Virology, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin
  • Prof Devi Sridhar – Professor and Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh

See the video at left…

European Satellite Workshop – Science advice: what works in a crisis?

2020’s Covid-19 outbreak has shone the spotlight on science advice like never before. How well are Europe’s science advice frameworks standing up to this major stress test?

Brought to you by SAPEA.

Find out more…



In February 2020, as the astonishingly global repercussions of COVID-19 were beginning to be understood, INGSA acted decisively to set up a platform to collect, commission and curate material related to science advice on the pandemic, A key part of this platform has been the development of the INGSA Policy-Making Tracker, a unique tool that is helping us to understand the role and pathways of evidence in the various pandemic responses.

Never before have the interfaces between evidence, policy, and society – at which INGSA works – been more visible and more critical. We have seen dramatic, unprecedented shifts in the relationship between societies and science, between politics and evidence, and between society and their governments.

We have seen where pre-existing systems have failed, and where there have been unexpected excelled. COVID-19 has been a whole of humanity stress-test on a scale unlike anything within our global living memory. And lessons of COVID-19 need to be learned as the world faces a wide range of economic, technological and environmental challenges far beyond the coronavirus.

That is why INGSA ran the Global Week of Dialogue across time zones around the world, to start to pick apart some of the strands of what has happened – to shed light on real-time lessons that jurisdictions and the multi-lateral system can draw on to improve their potential for better outcomes in the immediate, medium and long term.

INGSA was proud to be able to convene such a diversity of voices from across the natural and social sciences and policymaking, including Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation, as Keynote for week.

High-Level Panel will brought together global experts for a discussion that framed the week’s debate. Meanwhile, the LIVE Regional panels, had the task of contextualising and deepening the discussion for their regions. INGSA was also excited to be able to convene a special roundtable discussion on Science Advice and the United Nations, as well as providing space for a European Satellite event!

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