Contagion & Calculus : Workshop Programme and Registration

Contagion & Calculus

An Epidemy Project Workshop
June 16th to June 17th 2022


Models have guided the Covid-19 pandemic response with unprecedented authority. The workshop seeks to push beyond this very recent horizon to show that the success story of infectious disease modelling is deeply interwoven with the history of science and medicine. Contributors discuss the ascent of modelling within epidemiological reasoning to evaluate its impact on theories, methods and policies in medicine and public health. The workshop’s aim is to expand the historical geography of infectious disease modelling and to extend our understanding of the mobility of modelling between epidemiology and economics, sociology and the information sciences.


Registration to the workshop is through Eventbrite: 

The workshop will be held in person in Edinburgh. There is very limited set of places available for in-person participation for guests but the event will be live streamed on Zoom.

Details gathered as part of the registration process will be handled by the event organisers for purposes planning and communicating, as well as reporting to our funder. We will not share your details with third parties.



Download the full programme here

Thursday 16 June 2022

9:00 – 9:15 Welcome

9:15 – 11:15 Panel 1 – Modelling Disciplines

  • Christopher J Phillips – Modeling Disease for One and All: Putting Cause and Effect Back into the Story
  • John Nott – Malthus and modelling, demography and disease: on the long and tangled history of demographic and epidemiological modelling
  • June Barrow-Green – Ronald Ross and Hilda Hudson. A collaboration on the theory of epidemics.
  • Lukas Engelmann – Modeling Social Contagion

11:30 – 12:45 Keynote – Andrew J Mendelsohn – Where did modeling come from and why does this matter?

14:00 – 15:20 Panel 2 – Modelling Science

  • Mark Liang – Beeting Disease: Modeling and Nationalizing Sugar Beet in Britain, 1930-1948
  • Elsbeth Heaman – A social-statistical investigation of racialized disease and dying in early Victorian Canada
  • Erinn Campbell – Anticipating the impact of invasive plant pests and pathogens, 1989-2007

15:40 – 17:30 Panel 3 – Modelling Inputs

  • Daniel B Cohen et al – Big Data and sense – Ebola Virus Disease and Covid-19
  • Luiz Alves – An “Epidemiology without numbers”? Quantitative methods and the institutionalization of Brazilian Epidemiology (1970 – 2000)
  • Ann Kelly – On Means and Models of Mosquito Dissection: Global Health in the Twilight of the Detinova Technique
  • Jonatan Sacramento – Making a health emergency visible: defining, counting and modeling the Zika epidemic in Brazil

Friday 17 June 2022

9:30 – 12:30 Panel 4 – Modelling Boundaries

  • Jacob Steere-Williams – ‘Precursors and Trailers’: Modeling Endemicity and Infectivity in early Twentieth Century Britain
  • Liza Hadley – The interaction of models and policy for pandemic control
  • Jenn Fraser, Thandeka Cochrane – Resisting Models: Representing Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Armaan Mullick Alkazi – Mediating between different worlds: Modelling in Indian Tuberculosis policy
  • Mathieu Corteel – Obstacles in Epidemiological Modelling: An Historical Epistemology Study
  • Emma Broder – From hysterical contagion to latent variable analysis in contested illness definition

12:30-13:00 Gladys Kostyrka – Commentary and Discussion

Download the full programme here