91 episodes

The Collecting COVID oral history project captures the University of Oxford's research response during an unprecedented time, revealing the professional and personal stories of a diverse range of individual researchers and teams. Since November 2021, science writer and broadcaster Georgina Ferry has interviewed researchers and support staff from across Oxford’s academic divisions, capturing the story of the pandemic, as seen through the eyes of those at the forefront of research conducted to tackle a global health emergency. The oral histories supplement the Bodleian Libraries' archival collection related to COVID-19 research, acquired under the Collecting COVID project, a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the History of Science Museum funded by the E. P. A. Cephalosporin Fund.

This podcast series comprises the publicly accessible recordings from the oral history project.

Collecting COVID: Oral Histories Oxford University

    • Education

The Collecting COVID oral history project captures the University of Oxford's research response during an unprecedented time, revealing the professional and personal stories of a diverse range of individual researchers and teams. Since November 2021, science writer and broadcaster Georgina Ferry has interviewed researchers and support staff from across Oxford’s academic divisions, capturing the story of the pandemic, as seen through the eyes of those at the forefront of research conducted to tackle a global health emergency. The oral histories supplement the Bodleian Libraries' archival collection related to COVID-19 research, acquired under the Collecting COVID project, a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries and the History of Science Museum funded by the E. P. A. Cephalosporin Fund.

This podcast series comprises the publicly accessible recordings from the oral history project.

    Professor Trudie Lang

    Professor Trudie Lang

    Georgina Ferry interviews Trudie Lang, Professor of Global Health Research and Head of the Global Health Network, 13 April 2023. Topics discussed include (00:00:20) early interest in science, degree in biochemistry, work in the pharmaceutical industry as a clinical trial monitor, work in Africa and a Surgical Eye Expedition project, running clinical trials in U.K. hospitals, malaria work with SmithKline Beecham, overseas programmes, part-time PhD, work at Oxford on vaccine programmes, Global Health Network and work in Kenya; (00:21:11) first awareness of COVID-19; (00:26:04) global perspective, involvement of the network; (00:37:10) competition in science, EU Horizon projects, collaborations; (00:43:48) UKRI-funded work relating to World Health Organisation blueprint; (00:47:41) obstacles to data sharing among countries during the pandemic; (00:50:51) lessons learned from the pandemic; (00:54:30) personal experience of COVID-19; (00:57:24) changes to work schedule, including remote working; (00:59:39) support for wellbeing, including student wellbeing; (01:01:12) role as Green Templeton College student advisor; (01:02:54) sense of purpose through work on COVID-19; (01:05:44) changes in attitude to career as a result of the pandemic.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Siobhan Gardiner

    Siobhan Gardiner

    Georgina Ferry interviews Siobhan Gardiner, Clinical Research Nurse, 11 April 2023. Topics discussed include (00:00:18) early interest in nursing and studies at Cambridge, work in New Zealand and Australia, teaching at Thames Valley University, research nursing and work with the Dementias and Neurodegenerative Disease Research Network [DeNDRoN]; (00:04:31) dementia portfolio, including commercial studies; (00:06:58) primary role of the research nurse, including patient recruitment; (00:13:00) gastroenterology role; (00:14:00) first awareness of COVID-19; (00:18:30) nursing taskforce for COVID-19, involvement with the RECOVERY trial; (00:28:30) COVID patient recruitment for three studies [RECOVERY trial, Sepsis Immunomics, and ISARIC]; (00:37:30) PPE, work with A&E team; (00:39:57) patient schedules for studies; (00:43:07) morning huddle with team; (00:44:30) information gathering for ISARIC study; (00:45:52) leadership and teamwork; (00:50:16) grounded theory and use in research resulting from the pandemic; (00:51:00) interviews with colleagues and eventual article; (00:54:50) disbanding of the nursing taskforce, research governance role, creation of study protocol; (01:00:30) interviews with A&E team during winter 2020; (01:02:50) role within the immunology team; (01:04:36) current role, work in cardiology at the Acute Multidisciplinary Imaging and Intervention Centre; (01:05:44) personal experience of COVID-19; (01:08:17) working hours during the pandemic, delivering Novavax vaccine, Jansson trial; (01:10:16) support for wellbeing; (01:11:41) changes in attitude to career as a result of the pandemic.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Professor Sara Khalid

    Professor Sara Khalid

    Georgina Ferry interviews Sara Khalid, Associate Professor, 31 March 2023. Topics discussed include (00:01:00) early interest in engineering science, studies in Pakistan, Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford and specialism in biomedical engineering; (00:02:15) Planetary Health research group; (00:05:55) incorporation of climate data in recent studies; (00:10:54) first awareness of COVID-19; (00:15:59) international collaborations, Observational Health Data Sciences Initiative consortia; (00:18:40) observational data relating to the COVID-19 pandemic; (00:23:01) personal experience of COVID-19, threat from infection; (00:24:57) study relating to inequities in healthcare; (00:26:23) changes to work as a result of the pandemic.

    • 27 min
    Professor David Eyre

    Professor David Eyre

    Georgina Ferry interviews David Eyre, Professor of Infectious Diseases, 28 March 2023. Topics discussed include (00:00:46) early interest in medicine, studies in Cambridge and clinical studies at Oxford, work in Oxford in the John Radcliffe and Horton Hospital, PhD in pathogen sequencing, specialist training, consultant in infection; (00:04:27) genomic sequencing; (00:07:37) place within the Big Data Institute for sequencing work, use of electronic healthcare data; (00:10:50) genome sequencing technology; (00:12:50) routine laboratories to undertake sequencing in hospitals; (00:14:22) first awareness of COVID-19, including visitors to Oxford from Wuhan, infection with COVID; (00:17:55) clinical deployment to COVID wards, running of ward as a consultant; (00:21:41) involvement in the area of diagnostics, including detection of antibodies, development of an antibody test, collaboration with colleagues at the Target Discovery Institute; (00:28:08) conclusions relating to work on antibody detection; (00:32:38) large-scale testing of healthcare workers in Oxford; (00:40:13) sequencing as a tool for tracking infection in hospital; (00:42:15) regular surveillance of other pathogens during the pandemic; (00:44:35) changes to working hours; (00:47:05) collaborative working; (00:51:52) wellbeing support; (00:55:46) future plans.

    • 59 min
    Yi-Chun Wang

    Yi-Chun Wang

    Georgina Ferry interviews Yi-Chun Wang, Research Scientist and PhD Student, 24 March 2023. Topics discussed include (00:00:40) early interest in science, undergraduate studies in Taiwan and specialism in medical imaging and radiology science, master's in radiation biology at the University of Oxford, internship at Perspectum; (00:11:02) first awareness of COVID-19, visa extension; (00:15:54) internship role at Perspectum, CoverScan study; (00:18:49) location of MRI scanner; (00:20:05) inclusion of COVID patients in CoverScan study; (00:22:15) study team; (00:23:08) working hours; (00:25:32) anatomy covered by CoverScan; (00:25:56) organs covered by software; (00:28:07) remote meetings with colleagues; (00:29:13) intense period of study, end of CoverScan study in late 2021; (00:29:56) PhD applications, deferred PhD in engineering at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering; (00:34:46) thesis topic, data collection and analysis; (00:38:29) Bayesian networks; (00:40:09) time management; (00:41:43) COVID infection; (00:43:33) prejudices against Asians during the pandemic; (00:45:11) management of the pandemic in Taiwan; (00:48:25) living situation in Oxford; (00:50:58) changes in approach to work as a result of the pandemic; (00:51:59) direction of future career.

    • 53 min
    Dr Claas Kirchhelle

    Dr Claas Kirchhelle

    Georgina Ferry interviews Claas Kirchhelle, former Honorary Fellow in Vaccine History (Oxford Vaccine Group/Oxford Martin School), 22 March 2023. Topics discussed include (00:00:48) early interest in history, studies in Munich, study of the environment and contemporary history, research into antibiotics, master's at the University of Chicago, post at Oxford and pivot to history of medicine; (00:02:39) long perspective, boundaries between policy and history, work at the Oxford Martin School; (00:04:55) research methods, including ethnographic methods, navigating archives sources, meaning making and sociological methods, witnesses to contemporary events and grey knowledge; (00:08:44) first awareness of COVID-19, including attendance at a typhoid conference in Dhaka, flu-like illness; (00:11:07) association with the Oxford Vaccine Group, role of historian to the group, work with Samantha Vanderslott, creation of oral history interviews in early 2021; (00:16:45) ethical clearance for oral history project; (00:18:48) enthusiasm within the group around the project; (00:20:46) interview lengths and number of sessions per interviewee; (00:21:51) collection of interviews, use of the interviews and future publication, contextual work, indexing and searchability; (00:25:02) emergent themes, interests developed out of this work; (00:27:16) policy commentary on the decision to sell the Vaccine Manufacturing Innovation Centre; (00:30:48) variety of people interviewed, breakthroughs in biomedical science in the 20th and 21st centuries and importance of the input of a range of skilled individuals and teams; (00:32:10) mission focus of the vaccine team, credit and focus on certain individuals within the media; (00:36:00) post at University College, Dublin; (00:37:03) main area of interest currently, including drug innovation and infectious disease control and surveillance; (00:38:45) personal threat from COVID-19; (00:39:53) working circumstances, including home life; (00:41:08) experience of working on the COVID vaccine, broadening of understanding of interests and links policy work; (00:43:01) policy work and advice; (00:45:07) framing of the COVID-19 pandemic by future historians; (00:47:49) preparedness for future pandemics; (00:50:08) changes in approach to work as a result of the pandemic.

    • 51 min

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