AMWA 2020 Special Virtual Event – Medical Writing and Communication During the COVID-19 Crisis

In lieu of what would have been our 37th Annual Conference, AMWA hosted a special virtual event “Medical Writing and Communication During the COVID-19 Crisis”. For those of you who were able to attend the live event on Thursday 19 November, we are sure you would agree that it was an invaluable two hours. The calibre of speakers and their learnings from this unprecedented crisis were beyond our expectations. We are humbled by their willingness to give their personal time to share their experience with us. 

If you missed the live event, a recording is available in the Members Area. If you are not yet an AMWA member, but would like to join, please visit our membership and benefits page. 

You can read a summary of the event by Shruti Muralidharan from Cactus Life Sciences: Medical writing and communication during the COVID-19 crisis — Key takeaways from an AMWA virtual event


Thank you to our expert speakers

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws

 Professor of Epidemiology, Hospital Infection and Infection Control in the School of Population Health at UNSW Sydney. In February 2020 with the emergence of COVID-19 she joined the WHO Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19. Previously, Mary-Louise was a World Health Organization (WHO) Advisor to China and Malaysia capacity building infection control surveillance systems and went on to work with WHO as a member of the Advisory Group on the global Clean Care is Safer Care project to improve hand hygiene in hospitals and reduce infection rates and Task Force member for the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge: Healthcare Associated Infection Burden.

Professor Nicholas J. Talley AC, MD (NSW), PhD (Syd.), FRACP, FAFPHM, FAHMS

Prof Talley is a distinguished physician scientist and gastroenterologist, with a special interest in functional and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases. He is currently Distinguished Laureate Professor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle; Nick has protected time for research and clinical practice as part of this appointment. He is a Past President of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, a past Chair of the Council of Presidents of Medical Colleges, former Treasurer of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, and a member of the NHMRC Research Committee and MBS taskforce. Nick has an outstanding highly cited academic track record with over 1000 publications. He is CIA on a NHMRC CRE in Digestive Health and PI on a University of Newcastle Priority Research Centre, has been a chief investigator on several successfully completed NHMRC and NIH grants, and has attracted funding worth more than AUD$15 million dollars in the 5 years. You can follow Nick on Twitter @MJA_Editor

Professor Ginny Barbour

Prof Barbour is Director of the Australasian Open Access Strategy Group and is Co-Lead, Office for Scholarly Communication, Queensland University of Technology (QUT). In 2004, she was one of the three founding editors of PLOS Medicine. She has been involved over the years with many Open Access, publishing, and ethics initiatives including currently (DORA) the Cochrane Library Oversight Committee, and as a Plan S Ambassador. She writes for the Conversation   She is on the NHMRC’s Research Quality Steering CommitteeHer ORCID profile is here.

Dr Holly Seale

Dr Seale is a social scientist at the School of Population Health at the University of New South Wales in Australia. She has over 15 years of experience in conducting infectious disease, public health and health service research focusing on questions relevant to public policy. She has worked closely with local and state health departments to lobby for improved opportunities for vaccination, as well as to improve communication/promotion packages. Dr Seale has published >130 papers to date and is currently the Deputy Chair for the Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation (COSSI) network and one of the Research Chairs for the Sabin’s Vaccine and Acceptance Research Network (VARN).

Sophie Scott

Ms Scott has written two critically acclaimed books, and received numerous awards including the Australian Museum Eureka prize for medical journalism, Sophie is a highly respected and sought after health presenter. She’s the national medical reporter for the ABC, with her stories appearing on ABC news7.30, ABC radio and online.

Sophie writes and speaks about the science of positive psychology and has been a leading journalist on COVID-19. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame Medical School lecturing in health communication. She has hosted and spoken at numerous events including Research Australia awards dinner, World Congress on Positive Psychology, the Mayo Clinic social media conference, Royal Australian College of Physicians conference and many mental health and patient-centred events. You can follow Sophie on Instagram and Twitter @sophiescott2

And a huge thank you to our moderator for the evening, AMWA’s vice-president, Dr Jocelyne Basseal who is currently working with the WHO on the COVID-19 response. 

We would also like to acknowledge our sponsors whose generosity enabled us to offer this event free of charge. We thank them for their support and for promoting excellence in health and medial communication.

Thank you to our sponsors


Member Spotlight - Michael Molloy-Bland

Michael gained his PhD at Otago University and then secured a postdoctoral research position at the University of Oxford. He is currently working as Scientific Director in the Melbourne office of Oxford PharmaGenesis, working remotely from New Zealand. His role mainly involves overseeing strategy and content development for scientific publications across several client accounts.
He shares more about his journey, and some very wise insights and words of advice, on our Member Spotlight page.

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