26 Oct
Tórshavn (capital)

Pandemics in the last 200 years

Live streamed lecture in science from Aarhus University

Lecturer: Professor and pandemic researcher Lone Simonsen, Department of Science and Environment, Roskilde University

What can we learn from looking back in history at the great epidemics and pandemics – such as the plague, Spanish flu, smallpox, cholera and measles? New mathematical models give us insight into how future epidemics develop – including the covid-19 pandemic.

Historically, mankind has experienced violent epidemics and pandemics that kept the population down. For example, plague, smallpox, cholera, measles and influenza pandemics such as the Spanish flu that ravaged the world in 1918-20. The latter killed about 1-2% of the world’s population, equivalent to over 50 million people dying if a similar pandemic happened today.

Researchers around the world are working to uncover current threats and stay ahead of the big pandemics of the future. Will there be another major and deadly pandemic? What virus can it happen to be? Can we risk it becoming as deadly as the horrors of the past? Can we stop it?

About the lecturer:

Lone Simonsen is a professor and pandemic researcher at RUC and returned to Denmark five years ago after a career as an epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). For almost 30 years, she has used mathematical and statistical methods to understand the epidemics and pandemics of the past and present.

On the occasion of the Spanish patient’s 100th birthday in 2018, she gave many lectures and predicted even then that one should keep an eye on the coronavirus family as a future pandemic threat.

With her unique quantitative approach and historical spectacles, she has thrown herself into the COVID-19 pandemic and is working to map its “signature” in terms of prevalence and mortality, as well as to understand the phenomenon of “superdistribution” – a phenomenon she believes is absolutely central to understanding how it is possible to keep track of this coronavirus pandemic while we wait for a vaccine.


Nordic House - Norðurlandahúsið

Norðari Ringvegur
100 Tórshavn
Tórshavn (capital)


26 Oct 18:00