HHH Sept. 16 meeting programme (NOW ONLINE)

IMPORTANT: due to the public transport strike in Utrecht on Friday September 16, the HHH meeting has been moved online. Those who have registered already will receive a link via e-mail to attend the meeting. If you have not registered yet, send a message to historyhealthhealing@gmail.com. The meeting times will stay the same, starting at 13.30 and finishing at 17.15/17.30.

Policing pandemics: Medical history meets policymaking

Date and time: Friday 16 September, 2022, 13.00-17.15/17.30
Venue: online via Zoom
Registration: please send an e-mail to historyhealthhealing@gmail.com

Please note that the first talk and the keynote lecture will be in English. The roundtable will be in Dutch.

First session, chaired by Frank Huisman (in English).

13.30-14.00: talk by Roel Coutinho, former Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Control of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM): “About Q-Fever, Smallpox and Influenza: Lessons Learned from the Past”.

14.00-15.15: first Daniël de Moulin lecture (online) by Alex de Waal, director of the World Peace Foundation and author of New pandemics, old politics: “New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives”.


Scientists and physicians have learned more about the virology and treatment of Covid in two and a half years than about any other pathogen in history. There has not been comparable progress in the sociology and political science of pandemic disease. In this lecture I explore what social scientific progress might entail. This begins with retrieving the concept of ‘pandemy’, the long-lost sociological sibling of the epidemiological and virological concept ‘pandemic’, to refer to the entire societal experience of pandemic disease. In parallel with the way in which the scientific working definition ‘pandemic’ has shifted from a concern with scale to a focus on the novelty of the pathogen concerned, I argue that ‘pandemy’ should also be framed by the novel manner of societal disruption: it is an off-model event, involving intrinsic uncertainties.

15.15-15.30: announcement of the Stichting Historia Medicinae thesis prize winner.

15.30-16.00: tea break.

Second session, chaired by Hieke Huistra (in Dutch).

16.00-17.00/17.15: pitches and round table by:

Anja Schreijer, Director of Medical Affairs at the Pandemic & Disaster Preparedness Centre: “Geleerde lessen Covid-19: tijd voor vernieuwing!”.

Robert Vonk, senior advisor at the Council for Public Health and Society and medical historian: “Historische kennis leidt niet tot beter beleid”.

Rina Knoeff, medical historian and Director of the Groningen Centre for Health and Humanities: “Beleid zonder historische kennis is blind”.

Marjolijn Sonnema can unfortunately not participate in the roundtable. 

17.00/17.15-17.15/17.30: closing comments by the HHH committee.