Birth of the Institute

The Covid-19 Ad Memoriam Institute was conceived by Laëtitia Atlani-Duault, its president. In April 2020, she made a fundamental observation: the Covid-19 pandemic constitutes a major anthropological rupture. The crisis is not only one of health: it’s impacts are social, economic, cultural, scientific and legal, and its implications must be considered in the long term. Faced with tragic historical events that have been erased from the collective memory, it is necessary to remember together this historic moment in our lives. The creation of a digital place of memory is essential.

This project, led by Laetitia Atlani-Duault and supported by two honorary chairs, Prof. Françoise Barré-Sinoussi and Prof. Jean-François Delfraissy and a multi-disciplinary executive team, strives to bring together the scientific and business communities and civil society to reflect collectively on the major effects of the pandemic. The task is also to analyse, in a retrospective and analytical way, the consequences of the virus circulation on our daily life. A wide range of organizations and individuals have joined this academic initiative.


The COVID-19 Ad Memoriam Institute was created in order not to forget. Concern about collective forgetting has been eloquently expressed by Prof. Jean-François Delfraissy, the Honorary Chair of the Institute: “Forgetting is something that can happen very quickly. We must not surrender to time. Citizens will want to forget this period of great fear and we can understand that. But what happened in these exceptional circumstances cannot be forgotten. We must quickly lay the foundations for new processes of reflection and investigation.”