Plenary by Christina Pagel :: Tuesday, July 6th

Christina Pagel is Professor of Operational Research at University College London (UCL) and Director of the UCL Clinical Operational Research Unit. Her main research area is using OR to support delivery of health services. This includes combining statistical models, OR techniques and analysis of routinely collected national and local datasets to support service delivery and design both locally and nationally. She runs a large programme of work in understanding and communicating outcomes for people born with congenital heart disease, which has included the development and implementation of the method used nationally for 30-day survival following paediatric heart surgery.
She is co-director of the new UCL CHIMERA hub where researchers will examine anonymised data from 40,000 patients at University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), to develop a better understanding using mathematical modelling of how people’s physiology changes during ill health and recovery.
Since May 2020, she has been a member of Independent SAGE, a group of scientists who are working together to provide independent scientific advice to the UK government and public on how to minimise deaths and support Britain’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. More details here.

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Reflections on the intersection of OR and public communication

SAGE, the UK Government's Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies, has been critical in informing the UK's policy on COVID-19. SAGE does not contain any Operational Researchers. Independent SAGE is a group of scientists who are independent of government and do not answer to it. They share their work openly with the government as well as with the public. In summer 2020, Christina was invited to join Independent SAGE and since then she has been giving regular updates on the latest COVID situation in the UK during their weekly briefings. She has also been invited regularly on TV and radio, fielding questions about various aspects of the pandemic. Christina will start by discussing how her experience of working in OR applied to health care has shaped how she has understood and communicated the COVID pandemic over the past year. She will go on to reflect on the personal experience of becoming a public figure, sticking her head above the parapet on topics that have generated much heat as well as light, and maintaining both scientific and personal integrity on some of the most important issues facing us all; and identify any lessons that might help others step forward.