Look. If this triggers your innate biases or your need to call me out as a virtue signaler or tell me “now isn’t the time”, seriously save yourself the spittle and a few blood pressure points. I won’t authorise your comments below. Those for eth media – please consider seeking out and using more female scientific and medical experts in your stories around the subject of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.
Right. Now that’s done, and I’ve unconventionally used up all my preamble space, let’s move on.
Most of the expert medical and scientific comments provided in the media in Australia around COVID-19 (I won’t bother with virus name, none of you care!😭) and around the world seem to be from old white males (OWMs).
Don’t tell me that’s because there’s more male expertise. That’s bull. There are just more males willing to be a talking head and males don’t cop anything like the flak women do, in the comment sections or on social media, that follows on from commenting publicly.
No, I haven’t discovered something new here – I’m just writing the introductory part and I need high-level facts to fill it.
So much COVID-19 media interest
I have been overwhelmed by media requests in the past two weeks – some remain unanswered in my InBox for which I am most sorry. I am constantly asked to suggest other experts if I can’t comment myself. I’m also asked to suggest additional people who could comment for a story I’ve already provide some comment for. Unfortunately, I haven’t, until now, had a moment to think this through. Or to construct a list of experts.
A list of female expertise for journos
What I’ve put together below is a list of names and links to Twitter profiles for some (it’s not exhaustive) local or international media to approach to ask for comment.
The assumption is that those on these lists are all able to talk with some authority about some aspect of COVID-19.
Each person has individually told me that they are okay to be on this list.
If you have other suggestions for non-male experts, please send me a message through the comments section below or follow and DM me Twitter. I may not see it on Twitter otherwise.
The section where the defensive caveats will be added
I feel like I may be back to edit this post a few times, and not just to add more expert non-males.
I’m not saying OWMs shouldn’t comment, but we need to message as widely as possible during the upcoming potential pandemic. To think that the best source is one which represents just a fraction of society is failing to recognise the diversity we need to reach out to ensure we get important messages about risk reduction, calm preparation and new knowledge heard by as many as possible.
I’m not implying that you haven’t already sought out well-balanced commentary. I’ve created these lists so that when I say no to interviews to make space for others to speak, I have a different pool to pick from that isn’t influenced by my own memory fail or biases.
ournos – please use this list
So if you are a University recommending experts to talk, dig a bit deeper and ask your Faculyites to put out a call to your non-OWMs, to consider exposing themselves to this process. And it is an exposure, don’t get me wrong. It comes with risks for them so offer them any training they need and keep an eye on them, supporting them if they are new to this.
If you are journalists, please dip into this list!
The Antipodean list
- https://findanexpert.unimelb.edu.au/profile/625005-kathryn-snowDr Meru Sheel
Infectious disease epidemiologist, Canberra, Australia
- Dr Diana P Rojas
Infectious diseases Epidemiology, Queensland, Australia
- Dr Gini Mannsberg
General practitioner, New South Wales, Australia
- Dr Siouxsie Wiles
Associate Professor, microbiologist, New Zealand
- Amy Coopes
Editor at Croakey news, Writer and medical student, Australia
- Dr Kathryn Snow
Epidemiologist, Uni of Melbourne, Australia
- Prof Julie Leask
Social scientist, risk Comms, vaccination, Uni of Sydney, Australia
- Dr Kat McLean
General practitioner, medical educator, Bond Uni, Australia
- Monique Chiver
Infectious disease epidemiology, Uni of Adelaide, Australia
- Dr Holly Seale
Social scientist, vaccines and infection control Uni NSW, Australia
- Dr Alexandra Phelan
Global health lawyer, infectious disease, Georgetown Uni, Australia
- Dr Katherine Gibney
Infectious diseases & PH physician, epidemiologist, VIDRL, Australia
- Dr Sacha Stelzer-Braid
Virologist, science communicator, Uni NSW, Australia
- Dr Kirsty Short
Virologist, Uni of Queensland, Australia
- Prof Kanta Subbarao
Virologist, physician, Director, influenza, Uni Melbourne, Australia
- Dr Ayesha Verrall
Infectious disease specialist, preventative medicine, New Zealand
The International List
- Dr Saskia Popescu
Epidemiologist, biodefense and infection prevention, USA
- Prof Marion Koopmans
Virology, public health microbiology, The Netherlands
- Dr Janine McCready
Infectious diseases doctor, Canada
- Dr Antonia Ho
Infectious diseases physician and senior lecturer, Scotland
- Dr Jennifer Nuzzo
Epidemiologist, global health security policy, USA
- Prof Rebecca Katz
Dir, Global Health Science and Security, Georgetown Uni, USA
- Dr Syra Madad
Snr Dir Special Pathogens Program, NY Health System, United States
- Dr Angela Rasmussen
Virologist, host reposnse to emerging pathogens, Columbia Uni, USA
- Dr Emma Hodcroft
Programming, phylogenetics, nextstrain.org, Switzerland
- Dr Candela Iglesias
Global health, virologist, epidemiology, Canada
- Prof Tara C. Smith
Infectious disease epidemiologist, zoonoses, Comms, USA
- Dr Alexandra Phelan
Global health lawyer, infectious disease, Georgetown Uni, USA
- Dr Susy Hota
Infectious diseases physician, investigator, Uni of Toronto, Canada
- Prof Pam Downe
Medical anthropologist, ID research Uni of Saskatchewan, Canada
- ID-infectious disease
- USA-United States of America