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From Pasteur to the pandemic: Event Report

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Liina Voutilainen, Senior Researcher at THL (Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare) recently attended a public conference called “From Pasteur to the pandemic”. The aim of the event was to honor and celebrate the life and work of Louis Pasteur as well as to analyze the current covid pandemic.


The great French scientist revolutionized science with his discoveries that would save millions of lives through the developments of vaccines. The event’s lectures focused on Pasteur’s life and work, on covid and other pandemics as well as on the threats and opportunities of the future. Held on the 200th birthday of Pasteur, on 21st October, at the Finnish Medical Association, Helsinki, Finland, the event was co-organized by:

  • The Institut Français de Finlande
  • The association franco-finlandaise pour la recherche scientifique et technique (AFFRST)
  • The Finnish Medical Association (FMA)
  • The Finnish institute for health and welfare (THL)


We caught up with Liina to ask her all about the event.


How is this event relevant to the PANDEM-2 Project, and to your organisation?

“The event program progressed from Pasteur’s era and past pandemics to covid-19, and as the last speaker, I got a chance to present PANDEM-2 as an example of research that can help us prepare for future threats”.


What aspect of PANDEM-2 did you/your partners present about at this event?

“On my presentation, I focused on the Social Media Analysis tools, as I see these tools as the greatest novelty in our project. I believe that Social Media Analysis tools can take us a great leap forward in two-way communication between authorities and citizens”.


Were you asked any questions about PANDEM-2 or your presentation at this event?

“Due to time restrictions, there was no time for questions. However, afterwards I received positive feedback from several participants, who found the project very inspiring”.


What insights did you get from attending this event, or other organisations presenting at this event?

“The conference helped me put covid-19 into the context of history of disease: how lucky we have been with covid-19 in relation to earlier pandemics, such as Black Death or Spanish flu that affected a much larger part of earth’s population at the time. Thanks to Pasteur, his predecessors and the continuum of vaccine development until mRNA vaccinations, we are now much better prepared. On the other hand, perhaps the triumph of vaccinations against pandemics, the next triumph will be that of novel digital tools”.


Thank you Liina for representing PANDEM-2 at this event.