Beyond Ebola: The H2B2 Cross-disciplinary Challenge

Event organiser

What could your research contribute to the response to future disease outbreaks?

At this event, Royal Holloway’s Health, Human Body and Behaviour (H2B2) cross-disciplinary programme challenges you to think outside the box about what your research area – be it rapid genomic sequencing, cultural anthropology or participatory video – could contribute to the understanding of, response to and management of, outbreaks of serious infectious disease.

The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa has shown that in the 21st century, we can no longer rely on medical science alone to meet all the health challenges we are likely to face. Deep-rooted cultural practices and turbulent political histories may lead to resistance to scientific “solutions” perceived to be imposed on developing countries by the Global North; key messages may need to be communicated orally and visually, through traditional song or by trusted members of the community in a number of languages and through a variety of media. Poverty, migration of health workers and weak infrastructures may leave countries ill-equipped and under-prepared to respond to an outbreak.

Every academic discipline has something to offer: from classical historians’ consideration of people’s behaviour during the 6th Century Plague of Justinian, and whether anything can be learned from this for the present day, to virologists’ insights into the genetic stability of viruses, to computer modellers’ ability to map the transport networks across which infected people might travel.

Come along to this fascinating seminar and argue the case for your discipline’s value in tackling the serious infectious disease outbreaks of the future. The seminar will also encourage participants to discuss cross-disciplinary possibilities for future funding bids, or collaborative journal submissions with researchers from disciplines they would not normally work with, but whose involvement can bring new insights and lead to new approaches.

Abstracts and suggestions for presentations or interactive group activities to: by 28 February 2022

See also: – which will provide some background information on the issues. Attendance at this conference is free for academics registering from addresses