Persuading the public to vaccinate: gentle nudge or hard jab? 1 December 2020 Virtual Event at Life Science Centre

2020 has seen our shops, bars, restaurants, theatres – and science centres! – forced to close in response to the pandemic. With people’s physical and mental health at risk and the economy crashing, should the COVID-19 vaccine be compulsory for everyone? Join our online debate!

Digital drawing of a syringe

Some countries already have mandatory vaccination programmes, with France and Italy requiring all children to have certain vaccinations in order to attend school. The idea of allowing bars, restaurants and workplaces to refuse entry to people without proof of vaccination has been floated, but does compulsory vaccination play to people’s mistrust of vaccines? With the repeated forced closures of businesses, can we afford for people to not get vaccinated?

The rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines is cause for concern for some, but the more people who receive a vaccine, the more useful it will be. Where do we draw the line between the Government’s responsibility to protect public health and one’s autonomy over their body? Is it better to persuade people with a gentle nudge, or invoke restrictions to push them into it?

Speakers to be announced soon.


This event is part of Life Science Centre’s Science Speakeasy programme – a series in which important and often controversial topics are debated. We warmly invite everyone in the audience to ask the panel whatever is on their mind, no matter how contentious!

At events held in Life Science Centre, a cocktail bar is available; for this virtual Science Speakeasy, we want you to replicate the experience in your living room, so pour yourself a drink and get comfy on the sofa.

Capacity is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need access to the Zoom mobile app (available on App store and Google Play store) or Zoom Desktop Client to take part. Telephone dial-in is also available. Details on this will be provided in the registration confirmation email.