The PANSOC Webinar series returns Thursday, 27 January at 1600 CET

Christina Stylegar Torjussen will present: “Kong Sverre – The Death Ship”

The influenza pandemic in 1918 killed approximately 15,000 people in Norway. Among those were recruits in the Norwegian navy stationed on an exercise and accommodation ship called “Kong Sverre” outside Horten, Norway. Of the 500 recruits on the ship, 158 were infected and 42 died, corresponding to a lethality of 27%. In my master thesis (to be presented in May 2022), I try to figure out the reasons for this high mortality on “Kong Sverre”. In my talk, I present in-progress findings on possible mechanisms for the experiences on the ship. 

Christina Stylegar Torjussen is a student at the University of South-Eastern Norway and an affiliated master student at PANSOC. She is currently working on her master thesis in history.

Contact for a link.

Senterleder Mamelund intervjuet sammen med Pestforsker Moseng

HISTORIE: Trodde du Svartedauden tok slutt på 1300-tallet? Først da maktstaten kom på 1600-tallet, fikk Europa kontroll på pesten.

– Vi trenger en despot for å bekjempe pandemien, sier Ole Georg Moseng, forfatter av boka «Pesten kommer» – Vårt Land (

SENTRALT STED: Ole Georg Moseng er forfatter av boken «Pesten kommer». Han tar oss med til kirkegården like ved Gamle Deichman hovedbibliotek, der ofrene for den siste pesten i 1654 ble stedt til hvile. (Erlend Berge)

Ole Georg Moseng. Forfatter av boka Pesten kommer. Krist kirkegård bak Gamle Deichman hovedbibliotek i Oslo.

2nd Norwegian Historical Demography Meeting (NHDM) hosted by PANSOC 17-18 January

PANSOC has just hosted the second NHDM. The first NHDM was held in Trondheim 1-2 December 2019. The planned meetings in 2020 and 2021 were postponed due to COVID-19, but was held this rime on Zoom 17-18 January and planned and organized by PANSOC. Carla Huges, Christina Stylegar, Jessica Dimka and Svenn-Erik Mamelund were PANSOC members presenting, see program below:


Monday 17 January

12:00-12:15 Opening by Svenn-Erik Mamelund (OsloMet)

12:15-13:00 Missing Girls

  • Francisco J. Beltrán Tapia (NTNU): “Were there missing girls in Italy? Evidence from a new dataset, 1861-1921?”
  • Eftychia Kalaitzidou (NTNU): “Missing girls in Greece during the 19th and early 20th century”

13:00-13:45 Influenza

  • Christina Torjussen (USN & OsloMet): “King Sverre: The ship of death”
  • Jessica Dimka (OsloMet): “Demographic Impacts of Dynamic Interactions between Seasonal Flu and Chronic Health Conditions”

13:45-14:00 Break

14:15-15:00 Social mobility

  • Kelsey Marleen Mol (NTNU): “Social mobility among women in Hamar around 1900”
  • Kristin Ranestad (Lund U), Paul Sharp (University of Southern Denmark), & Nick Ford (Lund U): “Lessons from Oslo: Examining social mobility after the establishment of Norway’s first university”

Tuesday 18 January

09:00-09:45 Missing Girls

  • Gunnar Thorvaldsen (UiT): “Missing girls in Sandefjord town, Canada and elsewhere”
  • Marko Kovacevic (NTNU): “Malnourished girls in Norway?”

09:45-10:30 Influenza

  • Carla Hughes (OsloMet): “Suicides and the 1918 influenza in Norway”
  • Svenn-Erik Mamelund (OsloMet): “Indigenous peoples & pandemics”

10:30-10:45 Break

10:45-12:00 Causes of death, social class and living conditions

  • Arne Solli, UiB: “Historical index of living conditions: some theoretical and empirical challenges”
  • Petja Lyn Langholz (UiT): “Life-course occupational social class in Northern Norway in the late 19th and early 20th century”
  • Hilde Leikny Sommerseth (UiT): “122 ways of dying: The development of a causes of death nomenclature in Norway”

12:00 Closing by Svenn-Erik Mamelund (OsloMet)

Mamelund deltaker i vaksinebloggens podkastserie

Det er nå litt over to år siden covid-19 pandemien startet i form noen få tilfeller av lungebetennelse i Wuhan desember 2019, før SARS-CoV-2 viruset spredde seg til resten av verden. Vi har hatt to år med pandemi og smittevern, og har hatt fokus på smittetall og dødsfall. Det er lett å tenke at vi har vært gjennom noe helt unikt, men pandemier er ikke noe nytt. I denne episoden deltar senterleder Svenn-Erik Mamelund og prater om covid-19 i forhold til tidligere pandemier. Vi er spesielt innom spanskesyken, tar for oss hvordan sosiale forksjeller kan påvirke risiko for sykdom og død og om vi kan si noe om hvordan covid-19 pandemien vil utvikle seg fremover. Medvirkende er også Gunnveig Grødeland og Even Fossum.

Episode 25 – Pandemier og samfunn | Vaksinebloggen

New paper out: “Influenza risk groups in Norway by education and employment status”

The new paper is published in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, see here:



This study aimed to estimate the size of the risk group for severe influenza and to describe the social patterning of the influenza risk group in Norway, defined as everyone ⩾65 years of age and individuals of any age with certain chronic conditions (medical risk group).


Study data came from a nationally representative survey among 10,923 individuals aged 16–79 years. The medical risk group was defined as individuals reporting one or more relevant chronic conditions. The associations between educational attainment, employment status, age and risk of belonging to the medical risk group were studied with logistic regression.


Nearly a fifth (19.0%) of respondents reported at least one chronic condition, while 29.4% belonged to the influenza risk group due to either age or chronic conditions. Being older, having a low educational level (comparing compulsory education to higher education, odds ratio (OR)=1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2–1.8 among women, and OR=1.3, 95% CI 1.1–1.7 among men) and a weaker connection to working life (comparing disability pension to working full-time, OR=6.8, 95% CI 5.3–8.7 among women, and OR=6.5, 95% CI 4.9–8.5 among men) was associated with a higher risk of belonging to the medical risk group for severe influenza.


This study indicates that the prevalence of medical risk factors for severe influenza is disproportionally distributed across the socio-economic spectrum in Norway. These results should influence both public funding decisions regarding influenza vaccination and communication strategies towards the public and health professionals.

Spring Webinar Series

We are delighted to announce the spring webinar series. All talks will be held Thursdays at 1600 CET unless otherwise noted. Please contact if you need a link.

27 January: Christina Torjussen, University of South-Eastern Norway and PANSOC, “Kong Sverre – The Death Ship.”

3 February: Chinmay Tumbe, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, “India and 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Mortality Estimates and Correlates.”

10 February: Binoy Kampmark, RMIT University Melbourne, “‘Killing cockroaches with a nuclear weapon’: The Victorian Pandemic Management Bill.”

24 February, 1400 CET: David Roth, The Australian National University, “The effects of the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic on mental patients in New South Wales – Work-In-Progress.”

10 March: Tamara Giles-Vernick, Institut Pasteur: “Complex local vulnerabilities and the COVID-19 pandemic in France.” (Rescheduled from fall)

17 March: Margarida Pereira, PANSOC, “The 2020 Syndemic of Obesity and COVID-19 in an Urbanized World.”

31 March: Lianne Tripp, University of Northern British Columbia: “The 1918/19 Influenza: Hidden Heterogeneity in an Island Population.” (Rescheduled from fall)

7 April: Amanda Wissler, University of South Carolina & Cleveland Museum of Natural History, “The Long-Term Impacts of Pandemic Disease: Health and Survival after the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.”

21 April: Jord Hanus, University of Antwerp, “Socioeconomic Status and Epidemic Mortality in an Urban Environment: Mechelen (Belgium), 1600-1900”

28 April: Vibeke Narverud Nyborg, University of South-Eastern Norway and PANSOC, The exploration of state health legislations as possible driving forces to non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) during the 1918 pandemic in different Norwegian regions.”

5 May: Ben Schneider, TBA

12 May: Carolyn Orbann, University of Missouri, “Co-circulating respiratory diseases at the end of the 1918 influenza pandemic.”

New paper out: Pandemics are not great equalizers

In this invited paper for the 75 years of Population Studies diamond anniversary special issue, Svenn-Erik Mamelund and Jessica Dimka discuss the mechanisms (differential exposure, susceptibility, and consequences) underlying the mortality and morbidity disparities by socio-economic status and race/ethnicity in the 1918 flu and COVID-19 pandemics, emphasizing the tendency of pandemics to inflate pre-existing health disparities through these means. The authors use both historical and contemporary data and they make the case for thinking about the reduction of health disparities as an important pandemic preparedness strategy. Read full paper here:

Full article: Not the great equalizers: Covid-19, 1918–20 influenza, and the need for a paradigm shift in pandemic preparedness (