University launches Covid Talks series with a futuristic look at coronavirus

5 August 2020

How will historians of the future look at the coronavirus pandemic of 2020?

That’s the question leading historians of today and members of the public will have the chance to discuss in the first of a new series of interactive virtual lectures about the pandemic being launched by the University of Derby.

The Covid Talks will examine the impact of the outbreak, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.

Debating the question ‘A footnote in history or a pandemic that changed the future?’ online from 7.30pm-9pm on Wednesday 19 August will be a panel of experts including:

The event will be hosted by radio and podcast presenter Pete Allen, himself a graduate of the University. The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A session for the audience to put questions to the panel.

Professor McLay said: “This talk is an exciting opportunity to take the perspective of the future and appraise how the present, and our response to this pandemic, will determine the lives of the generations to come.

“Is it a turning point in history? How will it change the way we live, study and work, or alter our communities? Will it lead to civil unrest and disruption? Or will it ebb away and be another footnote in the history of humanity?

“While the panel is composed of historians, this debate will resonate with everyone, as it is very much about events taking place now. I’m looking forward to some really searching questions from the audience, as well as new perspectives on what the future, with Covid or post-Covid, may look like.”

Further talks, including #SCUMMEDIA – When Journalists Became the Enemy, Has Education Failed the Covid-19 Challenge? and Pandemic Proofing Venues are planned for the autumn.

Pete Allen said: “It’s a real honour to be asked to host this fascinating public debate at the start of a series of talks which will help us to understand the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had.

“Even while we are still coming to terms with the changes it has made to all our lives, it also feels like the right time to look ahead at what its long-term effect might be.”

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