Category: COVID-19

Strength in diversity – Changing the shape of expert engagement with the UK parliament

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in demand for expert knowledge, but, as previous studies have shown, the expertise provided to the UK parliament in the past has often been drawn from a narrow pool of researchers. In this post, Naomi Saint and Sarah Foxen reflect on recent evidence showing greater diversity in … Continued

Making the invisible visible: how we depict COVID-19

How do you depict a microscopic bundle of proteins that in just a few months transformed the world? Sria Chatterjee (Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institut) looks at how the virus has been visualised in different contexts, and how new ways of tracking and seeing its spread have profound implications for individual freedom. This post first appeared on the LSE COVID-19 … Continued

To build a better world after COVID-19, now is the time to transform how we think about social science commercialisation

As the world emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown many opportunities have arisen to rethink how and for whom our societies operate. In this post, Julia Black argues that social sciences can play a unique role in the post-COVID-19 recovery by forging new relationships with business and commerce and outlines how initiatives, such as the Aspect … Continued

A post-pandemic research agenda

As governments refocus their attentions from managing COVID-19 to planning for the aftermath and recovery from the pandemic. Steven Hill, draws on the work of the economists Mariana Mazzucato and Kate Raworth, to suggests now is the time to rethink research policy along more equitable and sustainable lines. This post first appeared on Steven Hill’s personal blog. … Continued

The open scholarship ecosystem faces collapse; it’s also our best hope for a more resilient future

The COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting universities and higher education institutions, reducing budgets and presenting new design challenges that will fundamentally alter how research and scholarship operate. Economic volatility is also constraining support for key systems and services that the academy relies on, especially those that are community-led. Kaitlin Thaney argues that there’s a need to converge … Continued

Organisational change is a challenge uniquely suited to the insights of social science

The organisational cultures of businesses and institutions of all kinds have massive implications for society, from day-to-day working conditions, to the impact organisations have on the environment and the economy. In this post, Andrew Day, presents evidence from a recent study into cultural change initiatives and argues that a social perspective of organisations as being, … Continued

Despite concerns, COVID-19 shows how social media has become an essential tool in the democratisation of knowledge

Social media has played a significant role in mediating the communication of information about COVID-19, although coverage of social media is more often than not negative. In this post, Ronnie Das and Wasim Ahmed, highlight some of the ways in which social media has become essential to societal responses to the crisis and how social … Continued

The public do not understand logarithmic graphs used to portray COVID-19

Mass media routinely portray information about COVID-19 deaths on logarithmic graphs. But do their readers understand them? Alessandro Romano, Chiara Sotis, Goran Dominioni, and Sebastián Guidi carried out an experiment which suggests that they don’t. What is perhaps more relevant: respondents looking at a linear scale graph have different attitudes and policy preferences towards the … Continued

Behavioural science and the response to COVID-19: a missed opportunity?

While the role of behavioural science in the UK’s handling of the pandemic has been criticised, Peter John and Gerry Stoker argue that it is important for governments to try and influence citizens’ behaviour rather than rely on laws that are harder to enforce. They nevertheless explain why a different ‘nudging’ approach ought to have … Continued

Evidence for Policy in the Wake of COVID-19: Short – Medium – Long Term Impacts

COVID-19 has rapidly and radically reshaped interactions between academics and policymakers and the kinds of evidence being used to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post, Vivian Tseng, considers how research-policy relationships might develop in the short, medium to long term and how research funders might seize opportunities presented by COVID-19 to design equity-centred … Continued