Understanding the epidemiology of infectious diseases requires knowledge about complex systems. Prof. Hans Heesterbeek will discuss the complexity of pathogen dynamics and control.
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
This lecture is the fourth in a series organized by the Focus Area Grip on Complexity (Institute for Complex Molecular Systems) together with Studium Generale. The series zooms in on complexity science – a field of study that examines complex challenges, like the prevention of a pandemic or the functioning of democracy. The lectures show how new insights from complexity science help find sophisticated answers to the overwhelming questions our society is facing. They cover fascinating topics such as self-organization, emergence, tipping points, and resilience.
Four themes are discussed during both an introductory lunch lecture for the general audience and 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.
Previous lectures can be viewed here:
- Prof. dr. Gert Jan Kramer – Towards a new energy system
- Prof. dr. Johan Schot – Deep transitions
- Prof. dr. George Church – Synthetic biology – engineering life
Ticket reservation recommended
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NOTE: This program will not be live streamed.
SG & USE registration
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