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COVID-19: the role of modelling in UK response

28 May 2020

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry into the science of COVID-19 by examining the epidemiological models that have contributed to the pandemic response in the UK.

Purpose of session

Epidemiological models have been a key element of the Government's response to the pandemic. The Committee will investigate the science underlying these models, speaking to experts from leading modelling groups around the country. The Committee will also consider the assumptions that are made in epidemiological models, differences between models from different modelling groups, and the ways in which models can be evaluated.


Tuesday 2 June at 10.00am

  • Dr Ellen Brooks-Pollock, Lecturer in Infectious Disease Mathematical Modelling, University of Bristol
  • Professor Neil Ferguson OBE, Head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Imperial College London
  • Professor Matt Keeling, Professor of Mathematics and Life Sciences, University of Warwick
  • Dr Adam Kucharski, Associate Professor, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

At 11.00am

  • Dr Paul Birrell, Postdoctoral Researcher, Medical Research Council (MRC) Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge
  • Professor Mark Woolhouse OBE, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

Possible questions

  • What are the main types of models that are used to model epidemics and pandemics?
  • What assumptions do epidemiological models make? How were these assumptions determined in the early stages of this pandemic, when we knew very little about the virus and its transmission?
  • To what extent is the epidemic in the UK panning out in the way models predicted?
  • What modelling is being undertaken to assess different approaches to easing restrictions and "next steps" in managing the pandemic?

Further information