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i-sense Q&A series: Communication – Empowering and educating populations through information

Home > I Sense Qa Series Communication – Empowering and Educating Populations Through Information

This i-sense virtual Q&A series highlights topics related to infectious disease outbreaks preparedness and response – focusing on what we have learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, what we need to do to ensure we are ready to respond to the next infectious disease outbreak, and how we can better protect our population and healthcare systems now and in the future.

Each month we will explore different themes related to developing tools and technologies to track, test and treat infectious diseases. As preparing for and responding to an outbreak is a collaborative effort, we’ll gain perspective from experts in academia, government and policy, healthcare, and industry.

This month we explored the topic 'Communication – Empowering and educating populations through information.'


Wednesday, 21 April 2021

13.30 – 14.15 GMT

Our panel members

Prof Ann Blandford
Professor of Human–Computer Interaction at University College London and formerly Director of UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) and of the UCL Institute of Digital Health

Prof Blandford has led many research projects on the design of information systems and has pioneered new approaches to studying and designing complex interactive systems, with a particular focus on health and wellbeing technologies. Much of her research has been empirically driven, with a strong focus on the situated use of technologies “in the wild”. She is the lead author on two Synthesis lectures: on Interacting with Information and on Qualitative Methods in HCI. She now works closely with healthcare engineers, clinicians and patients, exploring new approaches to applying HCI theory and methods to practical health technology projects. She has published widely on the design and use of interactive health technologies, and on how technology can be designed to better support people’s needs and values, recognising that people are living complex lives and often managing complex health conditions.

She has an interdisciplinary background, with a first degree in mathematics and several years working in Engineering, followed by a PhD in Artificial Intelligence. She moved into HCI when she joined the Applied Psychology Unit in Cambridge to work on the AMODEUS project (1991-95). She has served as technical programme chair for various international conferences including IHM-HCI 2001, DSV-IS 2006, NordiCHI 2010 and ICHI 2016. She has chaired national research committees including SSAISB (1997-1999) and the UK Computing Research Committee (2016-18). Recently, she has been recognised as an IPIF Technical Committee 13 Pioneer and become a member of the CHI Academy ( 

Dr Euphemia Sibanda
Epidemiologist, CeSHHAR

Dr Euphemia Sibanda is an epidemiologist with more than 15 years’ research experience, much of which she has spent conducting implementation research in the fields of HIV and Sexual & Reproductive Health. Her portfolio now also includes COVID-19 related implementation research studies. She is based in Zimbabwe at CeSHHAR Zimbabwe, and is a Senior Lecturer in Global Health and Epidemiology at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

Dr Alexandra Freeman
Executive Director, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

Before joining the Winton Centre in 2016, Alex Freeman had a 16 year career at the BBC, working on series such as Walking with Beasts, Life in the Undergrowth, Bang Goes the Theory, Climate Change by Numbers and as series producer of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor. Her work won a number of awards, from a BAFTA to a AAAS Kavli gold award for science journalism. In addition to developing and making television series, Alexworked with associated content across a whole range of other media – designing websites, games, formal learning resources and social media content – to bring science to the widest possible audience. Now back at the Winton Centre she has a particular interest in helping professionals such as doctors, journalists or legal professionals communicate numbers and uncertainty better, and in whether narrative can be used as a tool to inform but not persuade. She is an advocate of Open Research practices and the reform of the science publishing system.

Get involved 

If you have suggestions of topics you would like to explore in the future or questions you want answers, email them to