About this event

  • Date and time Thu 17 Mar 2022 from 10:45am to 3:00pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Senior Fellows Forum

Professor Carina Fearnley, Director and founder of the UCL Warning Research Centre, will join the Retired Fellows Society to discuss how can we make pandemic warnings work.

In April 2020, Mami Mizutori, Head of UNDRR, stated "Past warnings of a pandemic were often ignored, despite mounting evidence…”. Just over a year later, in May 2021, the WHO-commissioned report Covid-19: Make it the Last Pandemic argued the global alarm system needs overhauling to prevent a similar catastrophe. Why do we keep ignoring warnings? Isn’t it clear they matter after COVID-19?

In this talk, Professor Carina Fearnley will explore the role of warnings for pandemics and what can be identified from other hazards and threatening events to develop better health warnings for future events by exploring three key aspects. Together, these three aspects help highlight why warnings matter, what they mean, and how we can stop ignoring them to build a better prepared and resilient community.

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Key speakers

Dr Carina Fearnley

Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London

Speaker's biography

Dr Carina Fearnley is Director and founder of the UCL Warning Research Centre, Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies at the UCL Department of Science and Technology Studies, and an Honorary Research Associate at the UCL Hazard Centre. She is an interdisciplinary researcher, drawing on relevant expertise in the social sciences on scientific uncertainty, risk, and complexity to focus on how natural hazard early warning systems can be made more effective, specifically alert level systems. She also has an interest in the transdisciplinary potential of art and science collaborations around environmental hazards. Carina studied Geology and Mining at Imperial College London prior to working in London City’s financial sector. She completed her PhD at the UCL Hazard Research Centre before lecturing at Aberystwyth University. Carina is a regular consultant for Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre and frequently appears on national and international media following significant hazard events. Carina also established the World Organisation of Volcano Observatories Volcano Alert Level Working Group and edited the first publication dedicated to Volcanic Crisis Communication ‘Observing the Volcano World: Volcanic Crisis Communication’ (Springer). She frequently conducts public engagement activities such as Science Showoff, Soapbox Science, Pint of Science, Athena SWAN initiatives, and more recently MUSO IMPROPERA.


View the programme

Registration, tea and coffee
Welcome and introduction

Chair: Dr Catherine Sarraf, Editor, Retired Fellows Society, Royal Society of Medicine

How can we make pandemic warnings work?

Associate Professor Carina Fearnley, Associate Professor in Science and Technology Studies, Department of Science and Technology Studies, University College London

Close of meeting followed by lunch

For those who have pre-booked


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom

Special rates for difficult times  

The RSM wishes to offer healthcare professionals continued learning opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic. The RSM’s weekly COVID-19 Series webinars remain free of charge, while there will be small charges to register for other online education. These fees enable the RSM to continue its programme of activities and apply during the course of the pandemic. 

Registration for this meeting will close 24 hours prior to the start time.

If UK government guidelines and restrictions change, the format of this event will be updated to comply, and all delegates will be notified via email.