The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

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Learning from pandemics: a century of experience

08 October 2020

Watch Conversation 5 in the RIA Online Conversation Series: Perspectives and Pathways in a Time of Crisis exploring historical lessons from major episodes of infectious disease during the past century. What can we learn from the flu pandemic of 1918–19, SARS, Ebola, and other crises, in the response to Covid-19?



  • Prof. Svenn-Erik Mamelund (Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway)
  • Dr Ida Milne (Carlow College/Trinity College Dublin)
  • Grace Mulcahy, MRIA (UCD)
  • Dr Michael Ryan (WHO)

Chair: Academy Vice President, Daniel Carey, MRIA (NUI Galway)

About the series

Covid-19 represents one of the greatest collective challenges the world has faced in modern times. Every aspect of society has been affected by the pandemic, from health to the economy and our most basic human and social values and traditions. The need for shared knowledge and understanding has never been greater as we contend with the crisis and plan for the future.

The Royal Irish Academy, Ireland’s leading body of experts in the sciences and humanities, has convened an online workshop series curated by the Academy’s Vice- President, Daniel Carey, MRIA, NUIG to address these vital questions, providing analysis and explanation for a public audience. Members of the academy, early career researchers, activists and experts from across society will be invited to join us so that we can be as inclusive and creative as possible.

The online conversations will take place throughout 2020 and will cover a broad range of topical issues. Watch the series here


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