From the Nominator
LSHTM Viral is a non-profit podcast exploring the science behind global and public health. Conceived of and launched within 48 hours in-house at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it provides insights and updates from our experts directly to the public. As interest grew, our audience responded positively; by the end of 2020 we were the 13th most popular science podcast in the UK on Spotify, and 18th on Apple. LSHTM Viral was the top science/life science Apple podcast in other countries throughout the year.
The popularity of LSHTM Viral led to five spin-off livestream episodes in collaboration with WPP, featuring globally renowned experts such as Dr. John Nkengasong (Director, Africa CDC) and moderators like Sarah Boseley (Health Editor, The Guardian) and Felicity Barr (former anchor, Al Jazeera) answering audience questions about COVID-19 live on Twitter, YouTube. and WeChat. The credibility and relevance of content provided by LSHTM was backed by Twitter, who directly added our livestream to their formal “COVID-19 Tweets from UK Authorities” while it was live, and viewed 100k+ times.
With 150k+ listens in 170 countries, we launched a successful second season on planetary health. In 2021, we are now in the middle of another season on vaccines, taking the listener on a journey from the creation of vaccines through to distribution and monitoring, with the intention of enhancing public trust through clear explanations from world-leading experts.
The podcast has received many public accolades, with Tom Whipple, Science Editor at The Times, praising our “first-class podcasts.
From the Judges
We were extremely impressed by the team's ability to quickly produce a high-quality podcast that provides valuable information on short notice and with limited resources. It's a testament to overall mission of higher ed to expand knowledge and to serve the public.