Centre for Advanced Study

at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters

Social Science Meets Biology: Indigenous People and Severe Influenza Outcomes


Active 2022/2023 Social Sciences - Law


Influenza pandemics are most pressing global threats to human life and security. The state of the art in medical, epidemiological and social science research on the extreme vulnerability of Indigenous people to severe influenza disease is carried out in silos, and the factors uniting the infectious disease experiences of Indigenous peoples across continents of the world are rarely considered in concert. We will do the first interdisciplinary research project integrating genetic, epidemiological and social factors to unravel common factors for why Indigenous groups in Scandinavia, North America and Oceania are all highly susceptible to influenza, both in historical times and today. This project is also very timely and relevant as indigenous people also are extremely vulnerable towards COVID-19.


Affiliated researchers

  • Alexandra Blinkova - Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet)
  • Courtney Heffernan - University of Alberta
  • Vibeke Narverud Nyborg - University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)
  • Hilde Orderud - University of Turku
  • Ben Schneider - Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet)

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