On 9 September 2020, a group of leading academics, supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR), in collaboration with the Conseil des Recteurs (CRef), the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts (KVAB), l'Académie Royale de Belgique (ARB), the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium (KAGB), l'Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique (ARMB), the Young Academy and the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp organise a national scientific conference on the sustainable, long-term management of the COVID-19 epidemic in Belgium. The conference will take place at the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences and Arts of Belgium in Brussels.
The title of the conference is: Science serving society - Towards a sustainable management of the COVID-19 epidemic in Belgium.
The academics who took the initiative to organise this conference have been closely involved in the evolution of the pandemic in Belgium for many months now. Emmanuel André, Mathias Dewatripont, Marius Gilbert, Niel Hens, Geert Molenberghs, Pierre Van Damme, Marc Van Ranst and Erika Vlieghe wish to consolidate the scientific debate, especially at a pivotal moment when important social decisions need to be taken and the long-term management of the pandemic needs to take shape. The aim is to organise a thorough multidisciplinary debate. The organisers wish to eventually evolve into a national scientific forum that can meet on a regular basis and provide scientific support to the respective administrative and decision-making bodies.
The issue of the pandemic will be approached from different angles: the historical facts, the current national situation, different scenarios of evolution, the international context and the global perspective. Some of the themes that will be addressed are: the rationale and social purpose of the national COVID-19 policy, communication with the general public and vulnerable groups, the structuring of social contacts, quarantine measures, the use of mouth masks, national and international mobility.
The organisers also hope to hear critical voices during the debate, which will allow for a constructive exchange of views on various multidisciplinary topics.
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