‘How Prepared Can We Be’: Scientific Symposium, 22 June

How can public services help us respond to various crises such as conflict and climate change? What role do different actors play in preparing for future pandemics? What lessons can we learn from civil emergencies regarding researchers’ access to data, and how can we apply these lessons to future processes?

The Learned Society of Wales is co-hosting a scientific symposium, ‘How Prepared Can We Be?’, in London on 22 June 2023, along with the Royal Society, the British Academy, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and ALLEA, the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities.

How Prepared Can We Be?’ explores pressing issues from the fields of science, society, and policy, and provides a platform for international, interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral debate. Participation is open to all and is free of charge.  

This is an in-person event. An online livestream will be provided. 


Session 1: Disaster Response and Adapting Public Services  

From conflict to climate, economic and health crises, the session will examine crises across cultural, historical, and geographical contexts and analyses how public services help us respond to disasters. The panel will explore how research help inform policy and practice to build adaptable and efficient public services.  

Session 2: Pandemic Preparedness and Building Resilience  

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives and livelihoods, cultures, communities, societies, and economies. Evidence from research across disciplines is critical to ensuring our preparedness for future pandemics and tackling medium to long-term challenges. The panel will explore the role of actors across different levels of governance, geographical areas, and economic sectors in preparing for future pandemics and assessing the impact of previous pandemics.   

Session 3: Data for Emergencies  

The ability to access, collect, and analyse data to predict and respond to crises is crucial for effective emergency management processes. This panel will explore lessons from civil emergencies on researcher access to data and consider the findings of the Royal Society’s public dialogue on creating resilient and trusted data systems. The discussion will also explore the potential of privacy enhancing technologies as a mechanism for collaborative analysis of sensitive datasets, drawing on the Society’s recent report ‘From privacy to partnership’.