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Scientific support after the COVID-19 crisis: Government appoints COVID-19 scientific panel

Government Communications Department
Publication date 22.4.2020 15.00 | Published in English on 24.4.2020 at 10.25
Press release 270/2020

On Wednesday 22 April, the Prime Minister’s Office appointed a 13-member multidisciplinary scientific panel to support the work of the group set up by Prime Minister Sanna Marin on 8 April 2020 to deal with the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The term of the scientific panel will continue until 31 May 2020.

The members of the scientific panel were selected based on a joint proposal from the Consortium of State Research Institutions Tulanet, Universities Finland UNIFI and the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters. The Government also appointed three experts to the panel.

The task of the scientific panel is to provide evidence-based support for the working group in assessing and anticipating the effects of the COVID-19 crisis from the perspectives of social, health, economic and ecological sustainability and the resilience of individuals, communities and society.

The independent scientific panel will work in cooperation with the preparation group appointed by the Prime Minister. The panel members have been appointed based on their personal expertise and do not represent their organisations or lobbying groups.

Members of the scientific panel by discipline:

Behavioural sciences (incl. psychology)

Professor Christina Salmivalli, University of Turku, Chair of the scientific panel
Professor Minna Huotilainen, University of Helsinki

Public health

Professor Olli Vapalahti, University of Helsinki
Research Professor Tiina Laatikainen, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

Social policy

Research Professor Heikki Hiilamo, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare/University of Helsinki
Elina Pekkarinen, Ombudsman for Children
Susan Kuivalainen, Head of the Research Department, Finnish Centre for Pensions

Education policy

Professor Emeritus Jouni Välijärvi, University of Jyväskylä
Professor Mirjam Kalland, University of Helsinki


Professor Ahti Salo, Aalto University

Economic policy

Research Professor Jyrki Niemi, Natural Resources Institute Finland
Professor Juuso Välimäki, Aalto University

Environmental and climate sciences

Professor Markku Ollikainen, University of Helsinki

Additional members may be appointed to the scientific panel as necessary.


Martti Hetemäki, Permanent Secretary, Chair of the preparation group, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 530 292, [email protected]
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, Vice-Chair of the preparation group, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health +358 295 163 338, [email protected]
Seppo Määttä, Director General, member of the secretariat of the preparation group, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 295 160 598, [email protected]