36 Gordon Square
London WC1H 0PD

T +44 (0) 20 7958 8251

Predicting Infectious Disease Outcomes: Could We Do Better?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 (All day)

Time: 5pm


Speaker: Professor Joyce Tait, CBE, Innogen Centre, University of Edinburgh


Venue: LIDC, 36 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD


Details: Professor Joyce Tait CBE is a distinguished expert on the social aspects of science and on risk assessment, associated with the Innogen Centre at the University of Edinburgh. In recent years she has developed risk models for future outbreaks of human, animal and plant diseases and studied the social implications of a UK pandemic flu outbreak. Tait will take examples from a wide range of Foresight projects and apply them to the prediction of infectious disease outcomes - why do some potential epidemics take off and others fizzle out?


Abstract: The number of academic papers rubbishing our attempts to predict the future behaviour of complex systems like epidemics is exceeded only by the number of lucrative government contracts asking us to do just that. Accepting that our abilities will always be limited, and also that governments are not going to stop all Foresight activities, what can we (academics and governments) learn from past experience and how could we do better?

Registration: Please contact Samantha Blackburn (

Samantha.Blackburn@lidc.bloomsbury.ac.uk) to reserve a seat.