Category: COVID-19

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

The Necropolitics of COVID-19: Will the COVID-19 pandemic reshape national healthcare systems?

The COVID-19 pandemic has made necropolitics – the politics of life and death – unavoidable . Drawing on the work of Achille Mbembe, Hamish Robertson and Joanne Travaglia argue that, as in previous crises, COVID-19 reveals many of the hidden assumptions underpinning national healthcare systems. As the current crisis continues to bring these assumptions into the mainstream … Continued

The public debate around COVID-19 demonstrates our ongoing and misplaced trust in numbers

COVID-19 data and numbers are everywhere. However, these numbers are also a source of debate and subject to vastly different interpretations. Every day we are posed with a question that divides even epidemiologists: what does it really mean that positive cases or mortalities are up or down? Yet the media and the public reads deep … Continued

7 Recommended Reads for Contextualising Covid-19

In the present crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a number of accessible historical works and websites that can provide background and information on the disease as it unfolds. Since the disease is so recently emergent, there are as yet no reliable books dedicated directly to the topic. There are, however, works that provide … Continued

Locked down not locked out – Assessing the digital response of museums to COVID-19

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown, many museums have developed and put in place online digital offerings. Rebecca Kahn reflects on how museums and museum researchers have approached the digital exhibition as an opportunity for museums to communicate their research in new ways. This post first appeared on Elephant in the Lab as: Corona … Continued

How can researchers support Parliament in its scrutiny of the Government’s decisions and actions around the COVID-19 outbreak?

The COVID-19 pandemic and the conditions of uncertainty that surround it have led to an unprecedented demand for knowledge from Parliament and policymakers. In this post, Parliament’s Knowledge Exchange team (Sarah Foxen, Naomi Saint and Laura Webb) outline how researchers can engage and contribute to Parliament’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its wider impacts. … Continued

Simple data visualisations have become key to communicating about the COVID-19 pandemic, but we know little about their impact

If you had mentioned ‘flattening the curve’ in 2019, chances are you would have been met with a blank stare. However, almost halfway through 2020, the language of data visualisation has become commonplace, and data visualisations are widely used to communicate about the pandemic to the public. However, as Helen Kennedy observes, their power to … Continued