Skip to main content

Launch of the IHSS Working Group on COVID-19

The Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (IHSS) has launced a Working Group on COVID-19 with members from across the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at Queen Mary University of London.

An transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19


Aims of the Working Group on COVID-19

The purpose of this Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Working Group at Queen Mary University of London is to examine the UK response to COVID-19 in order to identify lessons learned and to highlight some of the cultural, economic social and policy outcomes of the way in which the COVID-19 crisis was managed across the UK. The UK undertook a quite distinctive approach in its response to the crisis. By reviewing policy and public evidence, and drawing on existing expertise, the group will evaluate the nature of the British government’s response to COVID-19, focusing in particular on such issues as ethics, policy, diversity, inequalities, public trust and social cohesion, from a distinctively HSS perspective. The group comprises of experts drawn from across the HSS at the College.


Background and Rationale

The Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines have substantial capacity to bring important insights to bear upon the multi-faceted and socially complex nature of the COVID-19 response. While the media have focused on numbers and public anxieties in light of the unprecedented nature of the post-COVID-19 situation, there are also ways that COVID-19 reinforces certain existing social trends: such as issues of social inclusion/exclusion. Likewise, there is more that needs to be unearthed about the ways in which science and policy have converged to shape the British response on the one hand, and the nature of public responses, including those within the arts, on the other. We believe that by constituting this Working Group, we will be able to bring these deeper insights to bear in a timely and policy-relevant manner which can help ensure the country is better prepared in the future, and that society and politics in the UK are well apprised of the underlying dynamics of the COVID-19 response as these continue to shape British society going forward.


Further information

Please email




Back to top