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EMBL Science & Society Programme: Infectious Disease & Society Series

Our Science & Society Seminars create a platform for dialogue and debate, allowing EMBL to examine the ethical, legal, and social implications of scientific research.

This special seminar series focuses on the theme of “Infectious Disease and Society”, and seeks to explore the scientific and societal impact of infectious diseases. This examines not only the COVID-19 pandemic from a number of angles, but also other infectious diseases such as salmonella and malaria.

In this session, Dr. Alessandra Falcucci will present the topic of "Livestock, the Global Environment, and COVID-19: a reflection on Livestock Systems before and after the Pandemic".
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Dr. Alessandra Falcucci
Lead Geographic Information Systems Analyst, Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM) @Food & Agricultural Organisation of the UN, Rome
Alessandra Falcucci analyses spatial data, working with the Geographic Information Systems ArcGIS and Life Cycle to gain insights into environmental status. She has been working at the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) since 2009 in the AGAL Livestock Information, Sector Analysis and Policy Branch. She has a PhD in conservation biology with specialisation in GIS earned at University of Idaho USA. Alessandra has, since the start, been integral to the implementation of the Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model. She coordinates the GIS activities related to the livestock supplies chains both at global and country level.
Dr. Cornelius Gross
Group Leader, Senior Scientist, and Deputy Head of Unit at the Epigenetics & Neurobiology Unit @EMBL Rome
Dr. Cornelius Gross, who will chair this session, is Group Leader, Senior Scientist, and Deputy Head of Unit at the Epigenetics & Neurobiology Unit of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) since 2003. His research aims to understand the neural circuit mechanisms controlling instinctive behaviors, with a special focus on fear and anxiety. Since 2010 his laboratory is focused on characterizing hypothalamic and brainstem circuits that regulate social and predator fear and understanding the role of microglia in determining the wiring of behavioral circuits during development. In 2013 he was awarded an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to study social and predator fear circuits in the brain. Earlier in his career Dr. Gross served for two years as a science teacher at a public high school in New York City, where he gained an appreciation of the benefits and challenges of communicating science to a lay audience.
Lucia von Bredow
Science & Society Manager @EMBL Heidelberg
Lucia von Bredow, who will host this seminar, runs the Science & Society Programme at EMBL. She has a background in law, public affairs and stakeholder engagement in the healthcare and life science sectors. The Science & Society Programme has been running for over twenty years. It seeks to create a bridge between EMBL, external stakeholders, and cross-sectoral experts, by undertaking analysis of, and discussion on the societal impact of scientific research. We act as a neutral facilitator, providing an impartial forum to explore the societal context in which scientific research operates.