Hosted by the LSE “New World (Dis)Orders” series and the Royal Society for Literature

Shaw Library, 6th floor, Old Building


Catherine Arnold

Dr Stephen Roberts

Dr Seema Yasmin


Dr Justin Parkhurst

One hundred years after the influenza pandemic, a novelist, a science writer and a population health specialist discuss the social impact of pandemics through time, and how virus, quarantine and contagion continue to inspire our dystopian literary imaginations.

Catharine Arnold (@London_darkside) read English at Cambridge and holds a further degree in psychology. Catharine's latest book is Pandemic 1918: The Story of the Deadliest Influenza in History. Catharine's other titles include Necropolis London and its Dead and Underworld London, a history of capital punishment in London.

Stephen Roberts is LSE Fellow in Global Health Policy. He is a module convenor on the MSc Global Health Policy and a member of the LSE Global Health Initiative. Dr Roberts is also an Associate Researcher at the Centre for Global Health Policy (CGHP) at the University of Sussex. 

Seema Yasmin (@DoctorYasmin) is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, author and medical doctor. Her first book charts the course of HIV/AIDS pandemic and the life of a scientist who fought to end the outbreak. She teaches science journalism and global health storytelling at Stanford University.

Justin Parkhurst is an Associate Professor of Global Health Policy in the LSE Department of Health Policy. He is co-director of the MSc in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing programme, and the current serving Chair of the LSE Global Health Initiative.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEFestival

This event forms part of the “New World (Dis)Orders” series, held in the run up to the LSE Festival, a week-long series of events taking place from 25 February to 2 March 2019, free to attend and open to all, exploring how social science can tackle global issues. How did we get here? What are the challenges? And, importantly, how can we address them? The full LSE Festival programme is online.


A podcast of this event is available to download from Quarantine.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTubeLSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.


This event has been certified for CPD purposes by the CPD Certification Service. Self-Assessment Record forms will be made available for delegates wishing to record further learning and knowledge enhancement for Continuing Personal and Professional Development (CPD) purposes. For delegates who wish to obtain a CPD Certificate of Attendance, it is the responsibility of delegates to register their details with a LSE steward at the end of the event and as of 1 September 2014 a certificate will be sent within 28 days of the date of the event attended by the CPD Certification Service.  If a delegate fails to register their details at the event, it will not prove possible to issue a certificate. (For queries relating to CPD Certificates of attendance after a request please phone 0208 840 4383 or email
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.