Published: 2022-02-09 11:21 | Updated: 2022-02-09 14:40

The Nordic Pandemic Network gathered to discuss inequity and vulnerability in relation to COVID-19

Over the course of two half-days students, researchers, & implementers from a range of disciplines gathered online to examine matters of inequity and vulnerability in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Nordic countries. The event was hosted by the Nordic Pandemic Network, an interdisciplinary collaboration on COVID-19 & its impact in the Nordic region, which KI is a part of along with The University of Copenhagen, Roskilde University, University of Stavanger & Hanken School of Economics.

Illustration: Getty Images
Illustration: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Around 30 participants gathered on Monday 24 January and Tuesday 25 January to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted inequity and vulnerability in the Nordics. The event was initially intended to be held on site here at KI, but due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, it was moved to a digital space.

After a welcome and opening remarks by KI president Ole Petter Ottersen, the first day began with a keynote speech by Marco Krüger from the International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities at the University of Tübingen, on the question of what vulnerability is and who is vulnerable in relation to the pandemic. The day continued with presentations on studies from Norway and Finland that had looked at specific examples of vulnerable groups in society and how the pandemic had impacted them.

Day 2 opened with a keynote speech by Anders Nordström, ambassador for global health at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, who spoke about levels of accountability and inequities during the pandemic. His address was followed by presentations on inequitable effects of the pandemic and the role of media portrayals from Denmark and Sweden.

Alongside the speeches and presentations there were plenty of room for Q&A and discussions.

“The aim of the workshop was to start a conversation about how marginalised and vulnerable groups have been affected by the pandemic. This raised interesting questions such as; what does vulnerability mean in a Nordic context? Was there a Nordic model on how we addressed different issues during the pandemic?” says Emmanuel Raju from the University of Copenhagen.  

The network intends to continue its work and meet again for a similar event. The aim of the network is to bring together different scholars working on a range of COVID-19 related governance issues in different Nordic countries to discuss various issues from a Nordic perspective.

The Nordic Pandemic Network has received funding from the Joint Committee for Nordic research councils in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS).

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Åsa Svensson Communications officer