Badgers and bovine TB control – is it all black and white?

The Tinbergen Society is delighted to welcome Professor Christl Donnelly, renowned statistician and epidemiologist, to Merton College to speak about one of the most contentious science-policy flashpoints: bovine tuberculosis (TB). As one of the leading UK authorities on this issue, Professor Donnelly has published several statistical analyses on the effect of badger culling, and was a co-author to the original culling trails and the 2018 review for HM Government. Bovine TB is an infectious disease that spreads between cattle as well as between badgers, and, crucially, it spreads between species. Policies aimed at limiting the transmission of infection from badgers to cattle include badger culling and badger vaccination, and in this talk Professor Donnelly will examine the evidence base relating to these policies, as well as policy options for the future.

As a Professor of Applied Statistics in the Department of Statistics here at the University of Oxford, and a Professor of Statistical Epidemiology in the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London, Professor Donnelly has spent her career advising Government on science-based policy options, and in so doing has acquired a reputation as the go-to person on this subject; this will be an authoritative talk.