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Debora MacKenzie

speaker location icon Geneva, Switzerland

Author of 'Covid-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How To Stop The Next One'

Science journalist with The New Scientist

Expert on infectious diseases

Debora MacKenzie is a science journalist who has covered emerging diseases for over thirty years. Debora writes regularly in the New Scientist, as well as covering scientific developments in the mainstream media.

Debora MacKenzie has consistently been on the frontline in reporting on pandemics. In her career, she has covered the outbreaks of HIV / AIDS, Ebola, and SARS. This experience meant she was one of the first journalists to predict that Covid-19 would become a pandemic.

Debora MacKenzie has written the first authoritative book on the current pandemic, ‘Covid-19: The Pandemic That Never Should Have Happened and How To Stop The Next One’. The book traces the earliest details of the outbreak in Wuhan. She looks at actions that might have prevented, or limited, its further spread.

Debora blames the outbreak on the failure of governments to take pandemic threats seriously. Despite scientists’ repeated warnings, policymakers failed to react to the various close shaves of this century. She argues the money spent on proper preparation pales in comparison to the debt now being accrued in trying to alleviate the economic pain. Moreover, she says we have been fortunate that Covid-19 has a low fatality rate. Frighteningly, she examines much more potentially diseases and warns of their consequences should we not put resources into defeating them.

The book has won widespread praise for its rigour. The Financial Times said that Debora’s superb science journalism made it the most ‘comprehensive’ account of the pandemic, ‘combining policy analysis and criticism…with scientific insights’.

Debora Mackenzie is a speaker on how pandemics spread, why they form, and how we can prevent future health crises.

 



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