DWIH Focus Topic 2021 - Society in Transition: Impacts of the Pandemic

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In 2021 the German Centres for Research and Innovation will investigate the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic through a wide range of interdisciplinary and international perspectives.

What impact is coronavirus having on globalisation? How will the pandemic affect business exchange and extensive networking in the long term? The consequences of the corona crisis can be felt in virtually all areas of private and public life. At the same time, the pandemic is emphasising the value of international exchange, science and innovative capacity.

Developing and distributing a vaccine is only the most obvious of the challenges. The pandemic is raising fundamental questions about new approaches to economic growth, about innovations in urban development and mobility, and about sustainable agriculture and food production. This exceptional global situation is also prompting a rethinking of what is crucial for social cohesion and dialogue between science, business and politics.

The DWIH Network Focuses on the Corona Pandemic

With the DWIH’s 2021 focus topic, “Society in Transition: Effects of the Pandemic”, the centres in New York, São Paulo, Moscow, New Delhi, and Tokyo will demonstrate ways to address the global challenges of the pandemic through international cooperation.

Further information on the selection of the DWIH focus topic 2021 can be found on the website of the DWIH network.

In the U.S., the scientific community raced to develop a vaccine. The first vaccine approved for sale in the U.S. was created through German-American collaboration of science and industry. Despite this success, the pandemic in the U.S. has highlighted and exacerbated political and social divides. Politicians, scientists and the media are increasingly fighting for the trust of the population. Millions of people were put out of work by the pandemic, with the poor and communities of color disproportionately affected. The pandemic sparked new debates about social inequality, equitable healthcare, and political participation, all against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Presidential election.

Beyond Medical Issues

Issues of medical research and healthcare have long been a focus of DWIH New York, most recently, for example, in a web-talk on the importance of artificial intelligence in the field. With its “FUTURE FORUM,“ which has been gathering top experts from numerous fields since 2019, the DWIH New York will address the Corona-pandemic in 2021, approaching the topic from many angles beyond the pandemic‘s relation to medicine and healthcare.