The psychology behind mathematical modelling of epidemics


Our understanding of and reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic has been largely driven by the modelling developed by infectious disease experts. While this is largely referred to as ‘science’, both mathematical and sociological considerations are crucial to this modelling process. Here, Dr Raj Persaud speaks to Professor Chris Bauch, whose work is centred on applying mathematics to real-world problems in infectious diseases, about how this modelling system works and how effective our response has been.


Date published: 16 July 2020

Presenter: Dr Raj Persaud

Interviewee: Professor Chris Bauch

Audio running time: 38 minutes

Credits: 0.5


Learning outcomes


By the end of this podcast, we hope you will have gained an understanding of:


  • the mathematical modelling processes being used to analyse COVID-19


  • the relationship between the modelling process and the societal response to the pandemic


  • the definitions of some of the key terms used by mathematical modellers


  • the issues to be aware of regarding vaccination development.



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If you like this podcast, you may also be interested in the following:


Podcast The psychology of the virus 'super-spreader' with Dr Susan Campbell Bartoletti


Podcast Obedience to authority – lessons from Milgram applied to COVID-19 with Professor Stephen Reicher

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