Covid Philosophy Week, 10-13 May 2021 – Registration Open

The journal Philosophy of Medicine, the Department of HPS, Cambridge, and the Institute for the Future of Knowledge, U Johannesburg, bring you a multi-day programme of philosophical discussions responding to Covid-19. There are three events:

10-13 May, Conference: Philosophical Perspectives on Covid-19, hosted by Philosophy of Medicine and the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (UJ)

12 May, Workshop: The Individual and the Population, part of the series Rethinking the Ethics of Vaccination organized by Emma Curran and Stephen John (Cambridge HPS)

13 May, Panel: Philosophy of Medicine on Covid-19, hosted by Philosophy of Medicine and the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (UJ)

These events have been timetabled so that they do not clash and are accessible for as broad a range of time zones as possible.

Registration and further info for all three events available here:

Warm regards,

The Editors, Philosophy of Medicine

Video now up – the first in our series of webinars, Reimagining the world after COVID-19, with Joyce Banda, Johan Giesecke and Sehaam Khan

This event took place on Wednesday 13 May 2020.


Panel 20 May: COVID-19 and the Emerging World Order

Please join us for a panel discussion on COVID-19 and the Emerging World Order, Wednesday 20 May @ 16.00-17:00pm South Africa, W Europe | 10:00-11:00 Beijing | 15.00-16:00 UK | 11.30-12.30 US East Coast. Please “arrive” (log in) 15 minutes beforehand to ensure time for you to be admitted prior to the event as we admit participants individually for security reasons. We start sharp on the hour.


  • Dr David Masondo (Deputy Finance Minister of South Africa)
  • Mr Grant Harris (former Advisor to US President Barack Obama on issues relating to sub-Saharan Africa)
  • Professor Dong Wang (Executive Director of the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding, Peking University)
  • Dr Oluwaseun Tella (Senior Researcher, Institute for the Future of Knowledge, University of Johannesburg)

Facilitated by Professor Alex Broadbent, Director of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge at the University of Johannesburg

You need to register to watch this live, and it will be posted as a recording afterwards. Register here:

This is the second in a series of webinars on Reimagining the World After COVID-19, organised by the Institute for the Future of Knowledge on the initiative of the Vice Chancellor’s Office at the University of Johannesburg.

Our first panelist, Dr David Masondo, is the Deputy Finance Minister for South Africa. He obtained his PhD at New York University and his prior degrees at the University of the Witwatersrand. He has held various political and management positions in provincial and national government. He has an abiding passion for education and has lectured on various topics in political economy at the University of the Witwatersrand. He is founding chairperson of the Topisa Trust, which provides ongoing support to youth to promote education, sport and cultural excellence in villages in Limpopo.

Our second panellist, Mr Grant Harris, is Chief Executive Officer at Harris Africa Partners LLC, Adjunct Professor of Global Management at Kellogg School of Management, Lecturer at University of California Berkeley. Until 2015 he was Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at The White House under US president Barack Obama. He was educated at Berkeley, Princeton, and Yale Law School.

Our third panellist, Professor Dong Wang, is Executive Director of the Institute for Global Cooperation and Understanding, Peking University. He has considerable expertise in US-China relations, and in 2019 addressed the 11th US-China Political Party Leaders Dialogue on the topic.

Our fourth panellist, Dr Oluwaseun Tella, is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for the Future of Knowledge at the University of Johannesburg. He is a specialist in soft power and international relations, especially between China, Africa and the US, as well as within the continent of Africa.

Register here:

A Framework for Decisions in a Post-COVID World: an aid to policy-makers in South Africa. A report of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge at the University of Johannesburg

A Framework for Decisions in a Post-COVID World – South Africa – Report 1.2

Decision Tool SA 1.0

Executive Summary

The document identifies six fundamental policy priorities which, together, constitute a framework for making all-things-considered policy decisions. These decisions must respond to immediate needs for action, but must also be taken with a view to the future (the post-COVID world). The policy decisions that frame them are not created by this pandemic: they existed before it, will persist beyond it, and constitute the reason that we care about COVID-19 and its consequences.

Available evidence suggests that South Africa’s lockdown lacks a strong evidence base, especially when compared to moderate scenarios rather than complete inaction. A one-page analysis (two-pages in the case of health) is provided for each of the following priorities.

  1. Health
  2. Food security and nutrition
  3. Education
  4. Economy and unemployment
  5. Vulnerable groups
  6. Governance and enforcement

A decision tool is offered for scoring these components to represent the impact of lockdown or other measure on that policy priority, and weighting them to represent the relative accordance afforded to e.g. health, the economy, and so on. This approach is customizable: items may be altered, added and subtracted from the list of policy priorities.

While the report writers offer their own recommendations based on the rationale encapsulated in their one-page summaries, in the end these are of secondary importance. This document is meant to support rather than prescribe to policy-makers, by enabling a decision process that makes implicit assumptions and value-judgements clear.

Our primary recommendation is that this framework be adopted, adapted and used by policy-makers for both making decisions and communicating the rationale for decisions, especially (i) decisions to allow and prohibit particular behaviours at different lockdown levels and (ii) decisions to move from one level to another.

Read the report | Access the decision tool

Note on versions: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2 etc denote minor corrections and updates, e.g. spelling, references, etc. Versions can be used interchangeably for all intents and purposes. Substantive new editions are marked by an increment from 1.1, 1.2 etc to 2.0, 2.1, etc.