Updated: Start of a New Syllabus: Policy, Expertise, Pandemics



For the remainder of the semester, I am reworking my graduate seminar on science and society for the period after spring break to focus on policy, expertise and pandemics. I’ll use this post as a running list of materials that might be included in such a syllabus. Suggestions welcomed.


(updated 4 April 2020)

Current COVID-19 Information

Dong, E., Du, H., & Gardner, L. (2020). An interactive web-based dashboard to track COVID-19 in real time. The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Dashboard: here

US CDC COVID-19 Situation Summary (here)

WHO COVID-19 Situation reports (here)

Imperial College London COVID-19 Reports (link)

Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data, COVID-19 Resources (link)

Coronavirus simulator (link)

Epidemic calculator (link)

Our World in Data COVID-19 (link)

A Users Guide to COVID-19, London Business School (link)

The COVID Tracking Project (US, link)

IHME Covid-19 Projections (link) based on: IHME COVID-19 health service utilization forecasting team. Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months. MedRxiv. 26 March 2020. doi:

Science Advice and Emergency Situations

Science Advice and COVID-19 (INGSA, link)

US National Academy of Sciences, Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats (link) (my initial Twitter thread on the committee)

U.K. Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE): Coronavirus (COVID-19) response (link)

UK New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) (link)

WHO IHR Emergency Committee on Novel Coronavirus (members) (First meeting – 23 Jan 2020) (Second meeting – 30 Jan 2020)

Lemire, J. et al. 2020. How dire projections, grim images dashed Trump’s Easter plan, Associated Press, 30 March.

Meyers. S. 2020. China Created a Fail-Safe System to Track Contagions. It Failed, New York Times, 30 March.

Shear, M. et al. 2020. The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19, The New York Times, 28 March.

Rivers, C. et al. 2020. Modernizing and Expanding Outbreak Science to Support Better Decision Making During Public Health Crises: Lessons for COVID-19 and Beyond, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, 24 March. (PDF).

Enserink, M. and K. Kupferschmidt, 2020. Mathematics of life and death: How disease models shape national shutdowns and other pandemic policies, Science, 25 March.

Mulgan, G. and J. Chataway, 2020. Coronavirus response shows science in motion, Research Fortnight, 25 March.

Majumder, M. and K. Mandl, 2020. Early in the epidemic: impact of preprints on global discourse about COVID-19 transmissibility, The Lancet, 25 March.

Sarewitz, D. 2020. Pandemic Science and Politics, Issues in Science and Technology, 25 March.

Parker, A. et al. 2020. Trump versus the scientists: The president’s tug-of-war with experts over coronavirus policy, The Washington Post, 24 March.

Cohen, J. 2020. ‘I’m going to keep pushing.’ Anthony Fauci tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic, Science, 22 March.

Mesfin, M. 2020. It Takes a World to End a Pandemic Scientific Cooperation Knows No Boundaries—Fortunately, Foreign Affairs, 21 March.

Wickham, A. 2020. 10 Days That Changed Britain: “Heated” Debate Between Scientists Forced Boris Johnson To Act On Coronavirus, BuzzFeed, 21 March.

Nature, 2020. Coronavirus: three things all governments and their science advisers must do now, 17 March.

OECD, 2018. Scientific Advice During Crises Facilitating Transnational Co-operation and Exchange of Information, OECD Publishing, Paris. https://doi.org/10.1787/9789264304413-en

Wilton Park, 2017. Report: Science advice: international co-operation and exchange of data and information during transnational crises, OECD. (PDF)

Maini, R., Clarke, L., Blanchard, K., & Murray, V. (2017). The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and its indicators—where does health fit in?International Journal of Disaster Risk Science8(2), 150-155.

Aitsi-Selmi, A., Blanchard, K., & Murray, V. (2016). Ensuring science is useful, usable and used in global disaster risk reduction and sustainable development: a view through the Sendai framework lensPalgrave Communications2(1), 1-9.

OECD 2015, Scientific Advice for Policy Making: The Role and Responsibility of Expert Bodies and Individual Scientists, OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers, No. 21, OECD Publishing, Paris. (PDF)

Glasser, J. W., Hupert, N., McCauley, M. M., & Hatchett, R. (2011). Modeling and public health emergency responses: Lessons from SARSEpidemics3(1), 32-37.

UK House of Commons, 2011. Scientific advice and evidence in emergencies, Inquiry and Reports (here), Direct link to report (PDF).

WHO, 2011. Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005), Report of the Review Committee on the Functioning of the International Health Regulations (2005) in relation to Pandemic (H1N1) 2009, Report by the Director-General, World Health Organization. (PDF)

WHO, International Health Regulations (2005) (link)

Syed, A. M., Hjarnø, L., Krumkamp, R., Reintjes, R., & Aro, A. R. (2010). Developing policy options for SARS and SARS-like diseases–a Delphi studyGlobal public health5(6), 663-675.

The Royal Society, 2006. Pandemic Influenza: From Science to Policy, The Royal Society, London. (PDF)

Ferguson, N. M., Cummings, D. A., Fraser, C., Cajka, J. C., Cooley, P. C., & Burke, D. S. (2006). Strategies for mitigating an influenza pandemicNature442(7101), 448-452.

Ferguson, N. M., Keeling, M. J., Edmunds, W. J., Gani, R., Grenfell, B. T., Anderson, R. M., & Leach, S. (2003). Planning for smallpox outbreaksNature425(6959), 681-685.

COVID-19 Scenarios and Dynamics

MIDAS – Online Portal for COVID-19 Modeling Research (link)

International Survey on Coronavirus (link)

Yong, E. 2020. How The Pandemic Will End, The Atlantic, 25 March.

Atkeson, A. 2020. What Will Be the Economic Impact of COVID-19 in the US? Rough Estimates of Disease Scenarios, NBER Working Paper No. 26867.

Eichenbaum, M. et al. 2020. The Macroeconomics of Epidemics, NBER Working Paper No. 26882.

Barro, R. et al. 2020. The Coronavirus and the Great Influenza Pandemic: Lessons from the “Spanish Flu” for the Coronavirus’s Potential Effects on Mortality and Economic Activity, NBER Working Paper No. 26866.

Azzoni, T. and A. Dampf, 2020. Game Zero: Spread of virus linked to Champions League match, Associated Press, 25 March.

McKibbin, W. J., & Fernando, R. (2020). The global macroeconomic impacts of COVID-19: Seven scenarios. Brookings Institution. (PDF)

Baldwin, R., & di Mauro, B. W. (2020). Economics in the Time of COVID-19. Center for European Policy Research (PDF)

Baldwin, R., & di Mauro, B. W. (2020). Mitigating the COVID Economic Crisis: Act Fast and Do Whatever It Takes. Center for European Policy Research (PDF)

Beale, R. 2020. Wash Your Hands, London Review of Books, 19 March.

COVID-19 Policy Options and Evaluation

Wallach, P. and J. Myers, 2020. The federal government’s coronavirus response—Public health timeline, Brookings Institution, 31 March.

Kissler, S. et al. 2020. Social distancing strategies for curbing the COVID-19 epidemic
medRxiv 2020.03.22.20041079; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.22.20041079

Greenstone, Michael and Nigam, Vishan, Does Social Distancing Matter? (March 25, 2020). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2020-26. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Prem, K. et al. 2020. The effect of control strategies to reduce social mixing on outcomes of the COVID-19 epidemic in Wuhan, China: a modelling study, The Lancet, https://doi.org/10.1016/S2468-2667(20)30073-6

Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker (link)

Group of Concerned Economists, 2020. The COVID-19 crisis calls for pre-emptive monitoring of production and distribution chains, VoxEU, 24 March.

Van Bavel et al. 2020. Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response, PsyArXiv, 24 March.

Emanuel, E. et al. 2020. Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19, New England Journal of Medicine, 23 March.

Milanovic, B. 2020. The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse As the Global Economy Comes Apart, Societies May, Too. Foreign Affairs, 19 March.

Kraemer, M. et al. 2020. The effect of human mobility and control measures on the COVID-19 epidemic in China, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4218

M. Chinazzi et al., The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019
novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Science 10.1126/science.aba9757 (2020).

Riou, J., & Althaus, C. L. (2020). Pattern of early human-to-human transmission of Wuhan 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), December 2019 to January 2020. Eurosurveillance, 25(4).

Rosenbaum, L. 2020. Facing Covid-19 in Italy — Ethics, Logistics, and Therapeutics on the Epidemic’s Front Line, New England Journal of Medicine, 18 March.

Unheeded Warnings

Diamond, D. and N. Toosi, 2020. Trump team failed to follow NSC’s pandemic playbook, Politico, 25 March.

Fidler, D. 2020. Coronavirus: A Twenty-Year Failure, Think Global Health.

GAO, 2018. INFECTIOUS DISEASE THREATS: Funding and Performance of Key Preparedness and Capacity-Building Programs, GAO-18-362: Published: May 24, 2018

GAO, 2020. NATIONAL BIODEFENSE STRATEGY: Additional Efforts Would Enhance Likelihood of Effective Implementation, GAO-20-273: Published: Feb 19, 2020

L. Borio and S. Gottlieb, 2020. Act Now to Prevent an American Epidemic, The Wall Street Journal, 28 January.

Taylor, M. 2020. Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak, Reuters, 22 March.

Roston, A. 2020. Exclusive: White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources, Reuters, 11 March.

Levey, N. et al. 2020. A disaster foretold: Shortages of ventilators and other medical supplies have long been warned about, Los Angeles Times, 20 March.

Sanger, D. et al. 2020. A Cascade of Warnings, Heard but Unheeded, Before Virus Outbreak, New York Times, 19 March.

WEF, 2019. Outbreak Readiness and Business Impact Protecting Lives and Livelihoods across the Global Economy, World Economic Forum, January.

Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 2019, Event 201 pandemic simulation

Fan, Y.; Zhao, K.; Shi, Z.-L.; Zhou, P. Bat Coronaviruses in ChinaViruses 201911, 210.

Yong, E. 2018. The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?, The Atlantic, July/August.

National Security Council, 2018. Clade X pandemic simulation

National Research Council 2016. The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/21891.

Sands, P. et al. 2016. Assessment of economic vulnerability to infectious disease crises, The Lancet, 12 November.

Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, 2016. Biodefense Indicators One Year Later, Events Outpacing Federal Efforts To Defend The Nation, Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, 2015.  A National Blueprint for Biodefense:
Leadership And Major Reform Needed To Optimize Efforts, Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense.

Menachery, V.D., Yount Jr, B.L., Debbink, K., Agnihothram, S., Gralinski, L.E., Plante, J.A., Graham, R.L., Scobey, T., Ge, X.Y., Donaldson, E.F. and Randell, S.H., 2015. A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergenceNature medicine21(12), p.1508.

He, B., Zhang, Y., Xu, L., Yang, W., Yang, F., Feng, Y., Xia, L., Zhou, J., Zhen, W., Feng, Y. and Guo, H., 2014. Identification of diverse alphacoronaviruses and genomic characterization of a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome-like coronavirus from bats in ChinaJournal of virology88(12), pp.7070-7082.

Jackson, C. (2009). History lessons: the Asian Flu pandemic. Br J Gen Pract59(565), 622-623. (PDF)

Cheng, V. C., Lau, S. K., Woo, P. C., & Yuen, K. Y. (2007). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an agent of emerging and reemerging infectionClinical microbiology reviews20(4), 660-694.

Lederberg, J. et al., 1992. EMERGING INFECTIONS: Microbial Threats to Health in the United States, Institutes of Medicine, Washington, DC. (PDF)

Pandemics, Society, Politics and Policy Dynamics

Correia, Sergio and Luck, Stephan and Verner, Emil, Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu (March 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Assve, A. et al. 2020. Pandemics and social capital: From the Spanish flu of 1918-19 to COVID-19, VoxEu, 22 March.

Nerlich, B. (2007). Media, metaphors and modelling: How the UK newspapers reported the epidemiological modelling controversy during the 2001 foot and mouth outbreakScience, technology, & human values32(4), 432-457.

McCoy, C. A. (2016). SARS, pandemic influenza and Ebola: The disease control styles of Britain and the United StatesSocial Theory & Health14(1), 1-17.

Elbe, S., Leach, M., and Scoones, I. (2013). Pandemic Flu Controversies: What have we learned? Reflections from a workshop to discuss lessons, policy implications and future challenges. STEPS Centre and Centre for Global Health Policy, University of Sussex, Brighton. (PDF)

Safford, T. et al. 2017.The Zika Virus Threat: How Concerns About Scientists May Undermine Efforts to Combat the Pandemic, Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire.

Versluis, E., van Asselt, M., & Kim, J. (2019). The multilevel regulation of complex policy problems: uncertainty and the swine flu pandemic. European Policy Analysis, 5(1), 80-98.

Bjørkdahl, K., & Carlsen, B. (Eds.). (2018). Pandemics, Publics, and Politics: Staging Responses to Public Health Crises. Springer.

Fan, V. Y., Jamison, D. T., & Summers, L. H. (2018). Pandemic risk: how large are the expected losses?. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 96(2), 129.

United States Pandemic Policy and Planning

HHS, 2009. National Health Security Strategy of the United States of America, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

HHS, 2014. National Health Security Strategy and Implementation Plan: 2015-2018, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

HHS, 2018. National Health Security Strategy: 2019-2022, Department of Health and Human Services. (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2006. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act, P.L. 109-417. (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2013. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, P.L. 113-5. (PDF)

U.S. Congress, 2019. Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2019, P.L. 116-22. (PDF)

National Security Council, 2016. Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents, (PDF).

SARS-Cov-2 and Relevant Research

Andersen, K. G., Rambaut, A., Lipkin, W. I., Holmes, E. C., & Garry, R. F. (2020). The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2. Nature Medicine, 17 March.

Lloyd-Smith, J. O., Schreiber, S. J., Kopp, P. E., & Getz, W. M. (2005). Superspreading and the effect of individual variation on disease emergenceNature438(7066), 355-359.

Heesterbeek, J. A. P. (2002). A brief history of R 0 and a recipe for its calculationActa biotheoretica50(3), 189-204.

Global Health Security Initiative (link)

Global Health Security Agenda (link)

Global Health Security Index (link)

Hong Kong University COVID-19 Resource page (link)

Tools and Training

CDC. Create an Epi Curve (here)

Wendleboe et al. 2020. Tabletop exercise to prepare institutions of higher education for an outbreak of COVID-19, Journal of Emergency Management, Vol 18.  Article (PDF), Tabletop Exercise (PDF)

Short Course: Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), World Health Organization.

UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy 2011 (PDF)

WHO, 2008. International Health Regulations, (2nd Ed) World Health Organization. (link)

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