Lessons from India's Pandemic Data: Lecture by Murad Banaji

Murad Banaji delivered a lecture on ‘Lessons from India's Pandemic Data’ on 3 September 2021. It was chaired by Awadhendra Sharan. 

During the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in India, time and time again we have seen misleading narratives, apparently based on data, flourish. These stories about "success" and "failure", mitigation and control of the disease, and above all mortality, have often unravelled as new data becomes available. Yes, the data has been inadequate; but the deeper problem lies with "data-driven" approaches divorced from any biomedical, epidemiological or social understanding. Pandemic data is meaningless without some understanding of human geography, disease and death surveillance, and inequality. Ultimately, to comment usefully on the epidemic, scientists must engage with broader questions of social and historical context.

Murad Banaji is a mathematician at Middlesex University, London. His main academic interests are in the theory of dynamical systems, with applications in biology, chemistry and medicine. He has tracked India's COVID-19 epidemic closely.

Awadhendra Sharan is Director, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Friday, 3 September 2021, 5 pm, Zoom: https://bit.ly/3j9m62Y