How Prepared Can We Be? Crises and the Importance of Research

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How Prepared Can We Be? Crises and the Importance of Research

ALLEA General Assembly


When and where

Date and time

Thursday, June 22 · 10am - 6pm BST


The Royal Society 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG United Kingdom

About this event

  • 8 hours
  • Mobile eTicket

How can public services help us respond to various crises such as conflict and climate change? What role do different actors play in preparing for future pandemics? What lessons can we learn from civil emergencies regarding researchers’ access to data, and how can we apply these lessons to future processes? On 22 June 2023, the scientific symposium ‘How Prepared Can We Be?’ invites international experts to explore how research contributes to the response to and preparation for multiple and entangled crises of our times.

Session 1: Disaster Response and Adapting Public Services

From conflict to climate, economic and health crises, this session will examine crises across cultural, historical, and geographical contexts, and analyses how public services help us respond to disasters. The panel will explore how research helps inform policy and practice to build adaptable and efficient public services. 

Session 2: Pandemic Preparedness and Building Resilience

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives and livelihoods, cultures, communities, societies, and economies. Evidence from research across disciplines is critical to ensuring our preparedness for future pandemics and tackling medium to long-term challenges. The panel will explore the role of actors across different levels of governance, geographical areas, and economic sectors in preparing for future pandemics and assessing the impact of previous pandemics.

Session 3: Data for Emergencies

The ability to access, collect, and analyse data to predict and respond to crises is crucial for effective emergency management processes. This panel will explore lessons from civil emergencies on researcher access to data and consider the findings of the Royal Society’s public dialogue on creating resilient and trusted data systems. The discussion will also explore the potential of privacy enhancing technologies as a mechanism for collaborative analysis of sensitive datasets, drawing on the Society’s recent report ‘From privacy to partnership’.

Session 4: In-Conversation: Perspectives from Ukraine

During this In-Conversation session, we will hear from two Ukrainian academics who had to leave their home institutions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and continue their research elsewhere in Europe. Professor Larysa Zasiekina and Dr Aisel Omarova will share their timely and important research on post-traumatic stress and memory trauma, and on protecting homeless and unattended children in Ukraine, respectively. This session also sheds light on the response and initiatives of the European academic community to support researchers at risk and offers an opportunity to further discuss how we respond collectively to such crises.

The symposium will conclude with a reception starting at 18:00.

Who should attend this event?

‘How Prepared Can We Be?’ explores pressing issues from the fields of science, society, and policy, and provides a platform for international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral debate. Participation is open to all and is free of charge.

This is an in-person event. An online livestream will be provided.

This event takes place within the framework of the ALLEA General Assembly, and is hosted by the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Learned Society of Wales, and ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

About the ALLEA General Assembly

The General Assembly annually convenes academies of sciences and humanities from 40 countries across the Council of Europe region. General Assemblies are hosted by ALLEA Member Academies and the programme typically consists of the internal business meeting of academy delegates, and a scientific symposium open to the public.

The symposium explores pressing topics from the fields of science, society and policy, and provides a platform for international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral debate.

The business meeting addresses governance, strategy and policy matters and is restricted to Member Academies’ delegates.

About the organizer

Organized by

ALLEA is the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, representing more than 50 academies from over 40 EU and non-EU countries.