As the holiday season approaches, millions of people around the country are considering whether to visit loved ones in person, especially those they may not have seen since before the pandemic began. Are small gatherings safe? What sort of precautions should people consider? How can we communicate the risks to our loved ones — and how do we process the science we see and hear in the news?

Join fellow UW alumni and friends online for a livestream and Q & A with two UW experts about assessing and communicating the risks of holiday gatherings during the pandemic. The talks will be moderated by Mike Knetter, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association.

Dominique Brossard is professor and chair in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at UW–Madison. She teaches courses in strategic communication theory and research, with a focus on science and risk communication. Brossard is an internationally renowned expert on public opinion dynamics related to controversial scientific issues. She is particularly interested in understanding the role of values in shaping public attitudes and using cross-cultural analysis to understand these processes.


Ajay Sethi is an associate professor in the Department of Population Health Sciences and is the faculty director for the Master of Public Health program at UW–Madison. As an infectious disease epidemiologist, he studies modifiable behavioral and structural factors associated with infectious disease transmission and morbidity. He teaches the popular course ‘Conspiracies in Public Health’ at the UW, preparing future health care workers for difficult conversations.


A recording of this livestream will be available on uwalumni.com after the event.

Speakers and schedule are subject to change.

This event is hosted by the Wisconsin Alumni Association®.