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Anticipating new societal crises. Are you scared yet?

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9 May 2022




21:00 (more or less) 

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Leuven Central

Margarethaplein 3, Leuven





Doors open at 18:30. Please note the bar only accepts cash.


The pandemic has made our society aware of its frailty. From flesh-eating parasites to conspiracy theories, we bring you the science to face new global challenges related to our health and technology. Are you ready to face them with us?

Finding new drugs for an old “flesh-eating” parasite

Gert-Jan Wijnant

Postdoctoral Research Assistant


Have you ever heard of a disease called “leishmaniasis”? While it can mutilate or potentially kill its victims and affects no less than 10 million people worldwide (including in Europe!), leishmaniasis is considered a neglected “tropical” infection. Gert-Jan Wijnant (ex-London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) will explain why this parasitic disease is so difficult to treat and shares his experiences to find urgently-needed new drugs in the lab and in the hospital... Will there be pictures, you ask? Come and find out :)

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You can shape what the next pandemic will look like!

Panagiotis Tsampanis

Honour student for the Institute of the Future

KU Leuven

We have all become experts on what it means to live through a pandemic. Practically everyone agrees that we weren't prepared very well. That's why our team developed "goals for pandemic preparedness", comparable to the "social development goals". We came to the conclusion that the goals we came up with are lacking and will need more input from people who also experienced this pandemic. Find out how YOU can help prepare for the next time a pathogen holds the world in its grasp.

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Are we really stuck in “echo chambers”?

Kamile Grusauskaite

Ph.D Candidate

KU Leuven - Institute for Media Studies

The ubiquity of social media platforms fuels heated discussions about algorithms and selection biases leading people into online “echo chambers” – spaces characterized by the homogeneity of voices and information in which conspiracy theories thrive. Scholars argue that these enclosed spaces deepen societal polarization and motivate political extremism. In this talk, I will share some insights about four distinct conspiracy domains including politics, mysteries of the universe, culture industry and science and show that different conspiracy communities showcase varying degrees of “echo chamberness”.

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