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Pandemic Forum 2021

A hybrid conference in Vienna on 5th November, 2021

Going viral: How a pandemic challenges society at large

An international forum on the challenges of the pandemic and its effects on our society – from pandemics in history to social, societal, political, and economic aspects of social and mental distancing.

A one-day conference for debates and exchanges over the challenges arising from the worldwide pandemic and, specifically, its effects on our societies at large with their stakeholders in sciences, politics, healthcare, arts and economy. This symposium shall bring together key opinion leaders from these sectors of society for an open-minded, critical and constructive exchange.


Welcome adresses

9.30-10.00 am

Markus Müller
Rector of the Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Heinz Engl
Rector of the University of Vienna, Austria

Thomas Beyer
Scientific Organising Committee of the Pandemic Forum

PART 1 | Status quo: What is this pandemia about?

10.00-11.30 am

Mastering history | What do we learn from past pandemics?

Sara Silverstein
University of Connecticut, USA

Overview: SARS | COVID | What is it?

Alexander S. Kekulé
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

Impact on society today | An introduction | Challenges | Opportunities

Markus Müller
Medical University of Vienna, Austria

PART 2 | A reflection: What effects does this pandemia have on us as individuals and as societies?

12.00 am-2.30 pm

Social and mental distancing – A social, societal and political perspective

Barbara Prainsack
University of Vienna, Austria

Carlo Caduff
King´s College London, UK

Educational distancing – “Deschooling”

Barbara Schober, Christiane Spiel
University of Vienna, Austria

Katariina Salmela-Aro
University of Helsinki, Finland

Scientific distancing – An applied health perspective

Florian Krammer
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New Yourk, USA

Eva Schernhammer
Medical University of Vienna, Austria

Financial distancing – Impacts of pandemics on our ecosystem

Ewald Nowotny
Austrian Society for European Politics, Austria

Marion Poetz
Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Host: Adam Smith

PART 3 | Status go: How can we deal with this situation and move on – together?

3.30-5.00 pm

Do the Arts help, and how?

Michael Oliver Flüss
Düsseldorf, Germany

Sarah Wedl-Wilson
Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin, Germany

Roundtable: Mastering sciences and Communication skills

Christoph Gattringer
FWF - Der Wissenschaftsfonds, Austria

Folker Hanusch
University of Vienna, Austria

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen
Cardiff University, UK

Britta Siegmund
German Research Foundation, DFG, Germany

Host: Adam Smith,, Sweden

COVID-19 measures

A registration is required to participate in the event. A valid proof of vaccination must be
presented upon entry. Conference participants have to wear a mouth-nose protection
mask (MNS).

In case of a COVID case at the event and to get in touch with you, your contact details
will be saved for 28 days, after which they will be deleted.

The COVID measures can change, depending on the pandemic situation – please check this event website for the latest information.


The data will be used to register your registration in connection with this event. » Further information

Organizing Committee

The Pandemic Forum 2021 is organized by the Medical University of Vienna and the University of Vienna together with the Alumni Club of the MedUni Vienna.

Scientific Organizing Committee

  • Thomas Beyer, Medical University of Vienna
  • Oliver Rathkolb, University of Vienna
  • Harald Sitte, Medical University of Vienna