On this page you will be able to utilise an exclusive recording of the seminar 'The Next Pandemic: A Hypothetical' provided by our partner Convergence Science Network.

The discussion topics range from biology and virology to politics and humanities, which can add as an extra research point or activity for yourself and/or your students.

What is The Next Pandemic?

Changes in living environments and global social change make the prospect of pandemics inevitable. How can global health authorities and national governments unite to improve research and accessibility of treatment to all?

This talk discusses the nature of pandemics and the strategy, research and influences behind pandemic preparedness. On the panel are Peter Doherty, Sharon Lewin, Norman Swan, Neil Mitchell, Jeremy Sugarman, Max Moore and Stewart Condon who share their expertise and experiences within the field.

Identified Curriculum Links

Unit 4: Area of study 3, outcome 3 & Area of study 2, Outcome 2

Through this video students can gain real world insight into the obstacles faced by research and testing vaccines. Students will understand that societal lifestyles and cultures can influence biological processes as well as identify possible consequences. For example, how might the public sphere perceive a particular treatment or test? Does this impact the potential positive outcomes?

Unit 2: Outcome 1 & Unit 4: Area of study 1, Outcome 1

Science communication, publicity and marketing play a crucial role in the perception of pandemics. Cause, preparedness, treatment and future planning are influenced by the community. Consider the communication during an outbreak as well as through a pandemic's life cycle. The video provides insights into the strategies and tools used to explain and caution the aspects of an outbreak. Cultural groups and minorities continue to be victims of stigmatisation due to communications methods. How is this consequence perceived by the panelists? Is scare mongering a valid tactic?

Unit 2: Area of Study 1, Outcome 1 & 2

The Australian response to global outbreaks weighs the proximity of the pandemic against its likelihood of reaching Australian shores. Can individual nations become complacent in the face of increased ability to travel, changes in living environments, and constant technological evolution? By watching this video, students will learn how the Australian government has reacted to potential threats of outbreak. Students should consider how the current global socioeconomic environment increases the threat of a global contagion, as well as what the role of Australia should be in extending assistance to other countries to manage the potential threat against Australian soil.

Unit 4: Area of Study 1, Outcome 1 & 2

How are different nations affected by disease? In the video provided, comparisons are made between the various international impacts resulting from a pandemic. Consider the differences in politics, living standards, ratio of poverty to adequate standard of living, cultural practices, number of neighbouring national borders, national economy, when discussing societies at increased risk. Global health institutions such as WHO are in a position to provide assistance but what is the extent of their impact? Are their other factors?

Unit 4: Area of Study 1, Outcome 1

The world may be large but the effects of technology and transportation have shortened the spaces between nations and individual communities. This combined with our growing population creates a volatile space for disorder and disease to spread. In the video the panelists discuss the risks behind intense globalisation. How does globalisation vary relationships and interconnections between nations? Does it matter how far apart they are geographically?

Why Use This Resource?

(image, freepik, 2020)

The current affects of Covid-19 has unearthed systemic issues that influence how individuals and communities live and interact. You may only now be aware of

  • the work and time that goes into vaccination development;

  • the risks we face due to our own living environments and habits;

  • how vulnerable we are to personal economic instability.

How we have responded as a community and as individuals to this current crisis underlines the improvements that need to be made.

Learning Goals

To develop knowledge and understanding surrounding the cause and effect of our lifestyles and apply reasoning, logic and evidence to future crises responses.

Resources and Materials

Use the sheet as a discussion prompt for your classes.

Let's Begin

Watch the video to gain insight into how the pandemic is relevant to you. Watch via Youtube for the topic points and timestamps.