The 2021 Virtual Nobel Inspired Lecture - The meaning of science in the age of Covid-19, one year later

11 October 2021

CAPRISA’s Director, Professor Salim Abdool Karim and Sweden’s state epidemiologist Dr Anders Tegnell were once again the key participants in the annual 2021 Nobel Inspired Public Lecture, “The Meaning of Science in the Age of COVID-19, one year on,” which was hosted by the National Research Foundation (NRF) in partnership with the Swedish Embassy in Pretoria, on 12th October. Last year Abdool Karim and Tegnell delivered the 2020 Nobel Inspired Lecture,  “The meaning of science in the age of COVID-19,” held on 8th October.

Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo, CEO of the NRF and Deputy Ambassador Ami Larsson Jain of the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria opened the virtual lecture moderated by Ms Mia Malan. Editor-in-chief, Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism. 

The virtual lecture explored the meaning of science, its promise, ethos and method, the sociology of science, the interplay between the social context and scientific knowledge. “We believe that given the unprecedented speed of the scientific breakthrough of Covid-19 vaccines and ensuing skepticism and doubt, a follow up dialogue will also help to explore what this means for trust and belief in research and science,” said the NRF’s Prof Fulufhelo Nelwamondo and Ambassador Håkan Juholt of the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria.

In his presentation titled: “Science in the era of Covid-19: One year later”, Abdool Karim explored the growing clinical problems in long Covid-19 and raised alarm that medical doctors were complicit in anti-vaxx sentiments and in promoting unproven Covid-19 treatments.

He said implementing an equitable vaccine distribution system remained a major challenge:  “We need to do better in this pandemic and Covid-19 needed global corporation and an equitable vaccine distribution. Humanity is needed to create a united front against a global threat.” 

Click here to view the lecture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Msd3IsDF914&t=3686s