Category: COVID-19

After a year of COVID-19 we can still learn from the experience of AIDS

A year on from his blogpost reflecting on what could be learned from the response to the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, Donald Nicolson returns to his previous post to assess how, if at all, the hard learned lessons of AIDS and its social dimensions have …

The public places more trust in scientists and politicians, when they appear individually, rather than together, to communicate COVID-19 public health measures

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, politicians have been accompanied by scientists when communicating the need for anti-contagion measures. In this post, Mike Farjam discusses the results of a joint Italian/Swedish experiment into public attitudes towar…

Has the pandemic changed public attitudes about science?

Drawing on survey evidence from several western countries, Eric Allen Jensen, Aaron M. Jensen, Axel Pfleger, Eric B. Kennedy and Ethan Greenwood find that COVID-19 has coincided with a general rise in public trust in science and scientists. Based on this re-affirmed public trust, they suggest there is a new window of opportunity to accelerate … Continued

The hard labour of connecting research to policy during COVID-19

The worlds of policy and academia are often distant and can be difficult to span. In this post Kathryn Oliver and Annette Boaz reflect on their experience of working in the Government Office for Science to help produce the government’s new Areas of Research Interest and the particular challenges involved in establishing and mobilising networks … Continued

The Post-Covid future of virtual conferences

For many researchers, 2020 will have been the first year in which they have attended any virtual academic events. In this cross-post Gina Sipley reflects on the advantages and disadvantages of virtual conferences and whether they may become a permanent fixture of the post-pandemic university.  In January when I saw the call for papers for the … Continued

How the pandemic changed editorial peer review – and why we should wonder whether that’s desirable

Since its onset, COVID-19 has significantly accelerated and expanded scientific publishing. Drawing on research into open peer review in medical journals, Serge P.J.M. Horbach discusses what impact COVID-19 has had on the practice of peer review and what shifting assessment thresholds for academic research on COVID-19 might suggest about the future of peer review itself. … Continued

For the sake of all involved, we should stop the REF clock

Emily Yarrow and Julie Davies argue any benefits of the current March 31st submission date for REF2021 should not outweigh the human costs to the academics and staff currently working to achieve this deadline. The UK is in the midst of the worst health and financial crises for several generations and the REF deadline of … Continued

Podcast: Has social science influenced the policy response to COVID-19?

The latest episode of LSE IQ poses the question: What’s the point of social science in a pandemic? When governments across the world were forced to take unprecedented measures in response to COVID-19 in 2020, much attention was focused on the teams of scientific and medical experts assembled to advise and develop national policy responses. … Continued

Look to the commons for the future of R&D and science policy  

A feature of the research and development landscape brought to the fore by COVID-19, has been the way in which massive public investments in collaborative open scientific research have ultimately led to zero-sum competition between companies, who hold the intellectual property rights to the outputs of this work. Samuel Moore argues, following the work of … Continued