Professors Sridhar and Pennington

Imagine you’re a researcher for BBC Scotland and you’ve been asked to find someone to speak on pandemic control. You find Professor Devi Sridhar of Edinburgh University’s 12-strong Global Health Governance Programme:

Eight of the team do research into infectious diseases for, amongst others, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation.

Professor Sridhar led the team whose recommendations have prevented another Ebola outbreak:

You take your suggestion to a meeting with the editor. Lisa Summers and Glen Campbell might have been there.

They agree that what you’ve found is ‘all very interesting’ but they’re going to go with retired prof Hugh Pennington again, who investigated a bacterial outbreak after a church lunch in Wishaw, last century. They always use him. He’s value for money with his vampiric looks and comments to scare the viewers.

The editor adds that she is a bit young and a woman so maybe doesn’t have the gravitas we need to counter whatever the First Minister says?

You toss the file in the bin and go back to finding relatives of coronavirus victims who look like they might cry if you keep the camera on them long enough and don’t say anything.