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Diversity and Identity Open Access & Cooperation in Science The Effects of Covid-19

Falling Walls Circle Table: How has Covid-19 Affected How We Pursue Science?

Falling Walls Foundation | Adrian Carter, Julie Maxton, Veronika von Messling, Kyle R. Myers, Daniel Hook

LIVE: Setting the Post-Corona-Agenda

As of the beginning of October 2020, over 33 million people have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 and, regrettably, more than 1 million human beings have lost their lives. Moreover, the brunt of the pandemic has been disproportionally born by the poorest sections of society. COVID-19 has arguably changed society for good and drastically affected the world economy. There is currently no sign of the pandemic abating. Nevertheless, COVID-19 has forced science back to the top of political agendas thereby putting scientists and health-care providers very much in the spotlight.

People and governments have sought guidance from scientists to address these challenges. The pandemic has also encouraged the scientific community to share data more openly, work more collaboratively, and accelerate the process of publishing results including the use of pre-print servers. Unfortunately, we have also seen an increase in false or inaccurate information. Indeed, the existing modus operandi of the scientific world was felt to be inadequate and too slow, for a digitally savvy world seeking immediate information on how to protect themselves, how to contain the virus, or how to restart their economies.

Thus, the scientific has changed in ways that seemed impossible a year ago.  Scientists quickly refocused their work to meet public health needs. Research institutions allocated funding to COVID-19 research, not just to virologists and immunologists but also to economists and mental health professionals thereby providing decision-makers with the necessary facts to create policies addressing the myriad of challenges to society brought by the pandemic. This almost singular focus on one research area, also known as covidization of research, has generated a vast body of work within a few months that would otherwise have taken years to create. Scientists have shown that they are able to share research data almost instantaneously and quickly establish new collaborations.

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Falling Walls Circle Tables will give the spotlight to world-leading scientists, science strategists and policy-makers from academia, business and politics discuss how we can apply science, research and innovation to get the world moving again.

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Adrian Carter

Boehringer Ingelheim

Adrian J. Carter’s career at Boehringer Ingelheim spans almost 35 years including 8 years as head of neuropharmacology. Adrian subsequently spent 10 years in business development where he led the negotiations for several large licensing collaborations, co-commercialization deals, and patent agreements. Since 2011, he has been vice president and global head of Discovery Research Coordination where he is responsible for guiding research policy, leading strategic research initiatives, and steering operational themes. He is also a member of the Discovery Research Leadership Committee. Adrian represents Boehringer Ingelheim on the board of trustees for the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and the Scientific and Medical Institute (NMI), as well as being vice chairperson of the Research and Innovation Strategies (RIS) Group of EFPIA and a member of the strategic advisory board of the Biotech Cluster Rhein-Neckar (BioRN).

Julie Maxton

The Royal Society

Dr. Julie Maxton CBE is the Executive Director of the Royal Society, the first woman in 350 years to hold the post. Before taking up her position at the Royal Society Julie was Registrar at the University of Oxford, the first woman in 550 years in the role. She is an Honorary Fellow of University College Oxford, a Bencher of the Middle Temple, a Freeman of the Goldsmith’s Company, and a Board member of Engineering UK, the Charities Aid Foundation, Haberdasher Aske’s School and of the International Advisory Board of the Blavatnik School of Governance at Oxford University. Originally trained as a barrister at the Middle Temple, Julie combined a career as a practising lawyer with that of an academic.

Veronika von Messling

German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Prof. Dr. Veronika von Messling is Directorate-General of the Life Science Division at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. She obtained her veterinary degree and her doctorate degree in veterinary virology from the Veterinary School Hannover, Germany. After postdoctoral training at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, she was Assistant Professor at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier in Laval, QC, and then Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, before becoming Director of the Veterinary Division at Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, the German Federal Institute of Vaccines and Biomedicines, in Langen, Germany. Her expertise lies in the development of novel prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against infectious diseases.

Kyle R. Myers

Harvard Business School

Kyle Myers is an assistant professor of business administration in the Technology and Operations Management unit at the Harvard Business School. His research revolves around the economics of innovation and lies at the intersection of science, business, and public policy. He has received funding from the Kauffman Foundation, the Sloan Foundation, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Professor Myers holds a Ph.D. from the Wharton School’s Department of Health Care Management and Economics. He has a M.S. in Health Policy and Management and a B.S. in Biology from Penn State University. Prior to joining the Harvard Business School, he was a post-doctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Daniel Hook

Digital Science

Daniel Hook is CEO of Digital Science. He has been involved in research information management for over a decade and has been helped to position Digital Science as a key infrastructure provider across research over the last few years. He is a regular co-author of Digital Science’s analysis reports. Daniel is a mathematical physicist by training, and is affiliated with Imperial College London, Washington University in St Louis and the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and serves on the ORCID board.

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