China Vaccine Media Engagement

The autumn term of 2020/2021 academic year was quite challenging. Apart from teaching, I originally had two international conferences and one fieldwork planned. All were obviously cancelled. Instead I found myself getting up at 5am or staying up until 11pm to follow online discussions. But of all the disruptions and anxieties generated by COVID, there is a silver lining to COVID – with an increasing number of departments, institutions and museums moving their events online, Evenbrite effectively became my new ‘Netflix’ as I can now tuning in to a variety of discussions taking place all over the globe. Including some seminar series that I never dreamed of regularly taking part in.

Another interesting line of conversation I had was with journalists interested in China’s vaccine diplomacy. It was a delight to talk to Associate Press journalist Huizhong Wu. Not all of our conversations resulted in print (here are two, one in September, one in December), but it was interesting to follow the vaccine development and its controversies. I’ve also contributed to an investigatory piece by the Sweden’s largest morning newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), and a programme on the ARD German radio. In parallel, I was engaged with conversations with my bioethicists friends in China about the Human Challenge Trial in the UK. Suffice it to say that it was an illuminating experience to see how discussions in both China and in Europe unfold.

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