May 14: Risk Communication During an Infectious Disease Epidemic

The JMSC will host a media research seminar titled Risk communication during an infectious disease epidemic: a case study of influenza pandemic, on Friday, May 14 at midday.

Thomas Abraham, Assistant Professor at the JMSC and Director of the Public Health Media Project will talk.

Professor Thomas Abraham

Professor Thomas Abraham

About the seminar:
The current “swine flu” influenza pandemic was an opportunity to put current principles of risk communication to the test. While there were successes in certain aspects, there were also several communication failures.

The low uptake of vaccines, the suspicion that the pandemic was fabricated at the behest of the pharmaceutical industry as well as other popular suspicions in the public mind, are all indications of communication failures. What are the new concepts and tools in risk communication that need to be developed?

Thomas Abraham is a former editor of the South China Morning Post. Prior to joining the SCMP, he spent 13 years as a foreign correspondent based in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Office in Geneva, and London for one of India’s leading newspapers, The Hindu. He has reported on conflicts in Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslavia, and Northern Ireland, as well as major global issues such as world trade negotiations, human rights, arms control and disarmament.

Abraham has also worked for the United Nations and the World Health Organization in Geneva and been a regular commentator on South Asian issues for BBC World Service Television. He is the author of Twenty-first Century Plague: The Story of SARS.

All are welcome.

Date: Friday, May 14, 2010
Time: 12 noon – 1.30 pm
Venue: Shum Wai Yau Reading Room, Eliot Hall, JMSC, The University of Hong Kong (see map)

Enquiries: Kylie Chan at telephone 22194416 or kyliec@hku.hk