Online lecture, Lecture

How to understand a pandemic | Canceled

Prof. dr. Hans Heesterbeek
Wednesday, September 30 , 12:40 PM - 1:20 PM
Blauwe Zaal, Auditorium & livestream
Price: Free (Student) Free (Others)

Understanding the epidemiology of infectious diseases requires knowledge about complex systems. Prof. Hans Heesterbeek will discuss the complexity of pathogen dynamics and control.

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the lecture by prof. Hans Heesterbeek will be postponed to a later date. There will be no Studium Generale lecture on Wednesday 30th September. Please check our agenda for upcoming programs.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge of attention for infection diseases and dynamics. Insights from complexity science are vital to understanding and ultimately controlling the virus. In this lecture Hans Heesterbeek will discuss challenges and lessons from (of course) the Covid-19 pandemic, but he will also share examples from other infections to show emerging phenomena, critical transitions, counter-intuitive insight, indirect effects, scaling issues and other aspects of complex systems.

Prof. dr. Hans Heesterbeek is professor of theoretical epidemiology at Utrecht University and an expert on infectious disease dynamics. His work focuses on the development and use of mathematical tools to aid biological understanding and public health insight for a broad range of relevant pathogens. The Covid-19 pandemic has bizarrely made household words of R0 – the (basic) reproduction number – for which researchers worldwide use the next-generation method that was developed in Heesterbeek’s PhD-thesis 30-years ago. In recent years he has become interested in combining theoretical epidemiology and ecology to study the dynamics of pathogens in their natural ecosystems. He is interested in emerging phenomena in a broad range of complex (social, societal, ecological and financial) systems.

Facing challenges with complexity
What is the similarity between solving the refugee problem, functioning of democracy and preventing a pandemic? They are examples of challenges that lend themselves to an approach with the help of complexity science. These cover fascinating topics such as self-organization, emergence, tipping points, and resilience.

Studium Generale and the Focus Area Grip on Complexity (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems) jointly organize a lecture series to show how new insights from complexity help find sophisticated answers to the overwhelming questions our society is facing. Four themes will be discussed both via an introductory lunch lecture for a general audience and via an in-depth lecture for experts in the field (Complex Fridays). This lecture series is for anyone who is convinced that modern science can and should play a role in the societal solutions of today and tomorrow.

Via livestream

This program will also be streamed live to our Facebook page and YouTube channel. Follow us on Facebook or subscribe to our YouTube channel to receive a notification when we go live. You do not need to book a ticket to view the livestream.

SG & USE registration 

  • On campus: please register your participation on the spot when attending the program on campus, by scanning your student card before the start of the program at the venue.
  • Online after the livestream: you can only register for SG&USE if you watch the program live (so not watching it at a later time) and if you complete an online SG&USE registration form within five minutes after the end of the program. This form will be provided immediately after the livestream.
    Keep your student ID number at hand, because you'll need to fill it out in the form.

Please make sure your registration is done properly, otherwise we cannot verify that you were present.

More information about SG & USE can be found here.