Pembroke College Hosted Annual Fulbright Distinguished Lecture in International Relations


‘Preventing the Next Pandemic’ was the title of this year’s Annual Fulbright Distinguished Lecture in International Relations, which was the eleventh of its kind. Dr Devi Sridhar, Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, delivered the engaging and lively lecture to a full Auditorium on the 19th of November 2021.

Prof Sridhar examined the historical roots of international cooperation in health and the subsequent creation of the World Health Organisation in the aftermath of World War II. The WHO’s existence is rooted in outbreak management across borders. And yet in the hyperconnected world of 2020-21, global cooperation broke down, illustrated by divergent & nationally-driven strategies on COVID-response, vaccine nationalism and hoarding by rich countries, and tense political fractures over the origins of COVID-19. Prof Sridhar’s lecture explored how we can rectify these gaps moving forward and offered reflections on how – when the next pandemic comes – we can do better.

Attendees described the lecture as ‘one of the richest lectures of the year’ and an ‘essential viewing’. Professor Linda Bauld, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, described the lecture in a tweet saying: “This lecture... provides a global perspective and a deep dive into differences between countries, inequalities, public perceptions and points for the way ahead.”

These annual lectures commemorate former United States Senator J. William Fulbright, alumnus of Pembroke College, Oxford and founder of one of the most prestigious international education awards programs in the world: The Fulbright Program. We were delighted to co-host this prestigious event again, which is organised by the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford (DPIR).

Watch the full lecture below