The Social Sciences of Epidemic Disease Modelling

Early 2022 (TBC)

Conveners: Associate Professor Sonja van Wichelen, Professor Warwick Anderson FASSA and Dr Kari Lancaster

“A view of data informed by the social sciences will advance effective disease modelling and contribute to a more complex conceptualisation of epidemic intelligence.”

Disease modelling has been exceptionally influential in the current COVID-19 pandemic, often driving policies of physical distancing, ‘lock down’, travel restrictions, quarantine, curfew, and so on. Using social science methods, this workshop will examine historical and contemporary practices of infectious disease modelling in Australia, comparing them with other public health approaches to understanding and intervening in epidemic diseases. The workshop will facilitate a cross-disciplinary conversation between social science scholars, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, and policy makers to advance our understanding of what it means to model disease outbreaks. As emerging epidemics continue to pose a threat in and beyond Australia, such an approach will prove useful in enhancing decision-making in health and government institutions.