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Guiding Principles for Unlocking the Workforce Post-Covid-19 - What Can Mathematics Tell Us?

Event details
Monday, 18 May 2020
12:30 pm – 14:00 pm
This event will be live streamed via webcast
KTN as part of the Virtual Forum for Knowledge Exchange in the Mathematical Sciences (V-KEMS) will be hosting a discussion forum.

This forum will overview a working paper developed by the mathematical science community. This working paper explores whether topics in the mathematical sciences can support designing principles on getting the workforce back to work.


The UK government must soon provide general guidelines for safe operation of workplaces that are to reopen in each stage of the release from lockdown. The guidelines themselves must be straightforward to interpret and as unambiguous as possible. They cannot be comprehensively enforced but must be largely adhered to voluntarily. Therefore public understanding of simple principles that underpin the detailed guidelines is crucial.


The guidelines themselves represent a choice made by the government about how best to trade off many competing needs. They will be subject to revision as evidence is gathered about their combined effect on the economy, on the functioning of society, and on the epidemic reproduction number in different parts of the UK.


Together with our partners in the V-KEMS initiative, KTN set up a Virtual Study Group in record time for mathematical scientists to consider “principles” for how to modify the operation of an individual workplace in order to reduce viral transmission.


The resultant working paper can be found here where the discussion points have been categorised into four main principle areas. Each discussion point has been explored with some mathematical rationale, two examples are given in the working paper.


The forum aims to expand on some of the ideas, open the methodology behind them up for discussion and ultimately to provide support on how the mathematical sciences can be harnessed to help the UK back to work. This forum is open to all, but in particular we are keen for policy makers, and business owners to join us.


Confirmed speakers: 
David Abrahams, University of Cambridge
Ed Crane, University of Bristol
Sam Tickle, University of Bristol
Alan Champneys, University of Bristol
Rosemary Dyson, University of Birmingham
Samuel Johnson, University of Birmingham
Arkady Wey, University of Oxford
Deirdre Hollingsworth, University of Oxford
Tim Rogers, University of Bath
Chris Budd OBE, University of Bath
Kieran Calvert, University of Manchester
Mark Barker, University of Southampton


Note that the principles are not directly intended to enable decisions about which workplaces may reopen and which must remain shut. Instead they are intended to create guidelines that will inform the design of safe workplace operations and scheduling once it has been decided that a particular workplace is to reopen.


Follow the link below for the full event agenda and registration.