Dr Anthony Fauci, Dr Nanshan Zhong and Professor Devi Sridhar will take part in the first Edinburgh Futures Conversations event on 2 March 2021.

The topic of course will be Covid-19 and the future implications of it, and it will be discussed by academics, some of whom have become household names.

Dr Fauci who has advised seven U.S. presidents on HIV/AIDS and many other domestic and global health issues, related to CNN that working with newly inaugurated President Biden is a liberating feeling as he is now able to talk freely about what the science is.

Dr Nanshang Zhong had a pivotal role in the 2003 outbreak of the SARS coronavirus. His current role involves leading the Chinese National Health Commission’s expert panel investigating the COVID-19 outbreak.

The opening session will be chaired by former Botswanan Minister of Health Professor Sheila Tlou, Co-Chair of the Nursing Now Global Campaign.

Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Sridhar, and Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence, Shannon Vallor, will join the event to share their perspectives of the pandemic and how to reshape public health systems.

Those taking part will examine the role that universities and students can play in nurturing a multi-sector, multi-level approach to collective action.

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “The Edinburgh Futures Conversations are designed to bring together global influencers, academic experts and policymakers to discuss some of the biggest issues facing the world. With a public health focus, the first event aims to promote global understanding and contribute action-oriented thinking to the world’s response to Covid-19.

“These events stand as testament to the critical role the University of Edinburgh can play internationally as a place of discussion, debate and challenge. I am delighted that Edinburgh will provide such a platform for leading experts from across the globe.”

Professor Lesley McAra, Director of EFI, said: “The global pandemic demonstrates the need for international cooperation and mutual understanding to solve the many threats that our planet is facing today. Universities have a vital role to play in bringing diverse and competing interests to the table, as well as providing research evidence. The Edinburgh Futures Institute is proud to be hosting these conversations on behalf of the University of Edinburgh.”