The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Social Sciences

Anna Dennis
Events and Fellowship Coordinator

Date & Time

September 10, 2021
8:45am - 12:15pm



The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) is organising a special event to mark its 50th Anniversary. This Symposium will discuss the COVID-19 Pandemic and the role of the Social Sciences in theory, policy, practice and understanding.

The symposium will feature three panel sessions. Each panel will include moderated Q and A segments. The Symposium will include opening remarks by Professor Jane Hall, ASSA President (celebrating ASSA’s 50th Anniversary) and closing remarks by Professor Richard Holden, incoming ASSA President.


8.40am | Participants log into Zoom

8.45am | Opening remarks by Distinguished Professor Jane Hall, ASSA President

9.00 -9.55am | Panel 1: What have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic?

Moderator:  Dr Dennis Trewin AO (Former Australian Statistician)


  • Janet McCalman AC (Emeritus Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, University of Melbourne)
  • Jeff Borland (Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne)
  • Sarah Wilson (Professor, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences & Pro Vice Chancellor (Student Life), University of Melbourne)
  • Tony Coady (Emeritus Professor, Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne)

10.05-11.00am | Panel 2: Which health policy and medical strategies will help us emerge from the COVID crisis?

Moderator: Janna Thompson (Adjunct Professor, Philosophy, La Trobe University)


  • Stephen Duckett (Health and Aged Care Program Director, Grattan Institute)
  • Laureate Professor Peter Doherty AC (Patron, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity)
  • Nancy Baxter (Professor & Head, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne)
  • Patrick McGorry AO (Professor, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne)

11.10am – 12.05pm | Panel 3: What are the political, social, psychological, social inclusion, health, and other challenges we face in the “new normal” of living with uncertain pandemic futures?

Moderator: Greg Bamber (Professor, Monash Business School, Monash University)


  • Leon Mann AO (Professorial Fellow, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne)
  • Glyn Davis AC (Distinguished Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy ANU)
  • Lenore Manderson AM (Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Adjunct Professor, Monash University)
  • Jane Hall (Distinguished Professor, Health Economics, University of Technology Sydney)

12.05-12.15pm | Closing remarks by Professor Richard Holden, UNSW, Incoming ASSA President

Co-convenors Victorian Branch, ASSA:

Professor Greg Bamber FASSA, FAcSS, Monash University:

Professor Janna Thompson FASSA, FAHA, La Trobe University:

Dr Dennis Trewin AO, FASSA, Former Australian Statistician:

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