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Frankfurt am Main, 27.04.2021 12:00:00

Every day, health authorities around the world publish figures on the progression of the coronavirus pandemic. The number of deaths associated with COVID-19 infections is also updated on a daily basis. But in reality, what conclusions do these figures allow us to draw about mortality rates? In a recent research project, Prof. Dr. Lucas Böttcher addressed precisely this question. His main finding was that in some countries, such as Ecuador, Peru, Spain and Russia, excess mortality since the start of the pandemic has been many times higher than the officially reported figures for COVID-19 deaths suggest. Many data sets tell us nothing of any value and are useless for purposes of international comparison. This is because test procedures differ fundamentally from one country to another, as do methods for defining and documenting causes of death in each case.

On Tuesday 4 May 2021, Lucas Böttcher will present his research findings to journalists for further discussion. We warmly invite you to attend our reporters’ roundtable:

           Is COVID-19 driving up mortality rates? What official case statistics really tell us
     Prof. Dr. Lucas Böttcher, Professor of Computational Social Science at Frankfurt School
                                             Tuesday 4 May 2021, 11:30 CEST

The reporters’ roundtable will be held online, as a virtual event. Professor Böttcher will present his research in German and English. To register for the event, please contact Carolin Schwalme (c.schwalme@fs.de ; +49 69 154008-818; +49 159 04579780), who will send you the link for the virtual meeting. Should you be unable to attend on 4 May, she would be happy to arrange alternative appointments for you with Professor Böttcher.

About Lucas Böttcher

Lucas Böttcher has been Assistant Professor of Computational Social Science at Frankfurt School since March 2021. He was awarded his doctorate in applied mathematics and computational physics by ETH Zurich in 2018. He then worked at ETH Zurich as a lecturer and postdoctoral researcher. In 2020, he joined the Departments of Computational Medicine and Mathematics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a fellow of the Swiss National Fund. He also worked as a researcher in the Digital Solutions Group at Leoni AG.

In his research, he uses computational and analytical methods to solve global problems of real-world relevance in the social sciences, medicine and biology, such as epidemic processes, political polarisation and the rise of antibiotic resistance. His research also focuses on fundamental questions in applied and computational mathematics, statistical mechanics and machine learning. His research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, in the American Physical Society’s COVID-19 collection, in news items published by ETH Zurich and UCLA, and in KPCC’s AirTalk with Larry Mantle. The European Parliament included excerpts from Lucas’s work in a recent policy report. www.fs.de/böttcher