Category: COVID-19

The incompatibility of Nudge and Co-Design as tools for policymaking

The use of nudge theory to inform policy interventions in response to COVID-19 has re-opened debates over the politically paternalistic nature of governing by ‘nudges’ and has given momentum to calls to include the more participatory elements of co-des…

Book Review: Easy Living: The Rise of the Home Office by Elizabeth A. Patton

In Easy Living: The Rise of the Home Office, Elizabeth A. Patton explores how the status of the home as an intimate space and locus of economic activity is closely tied to the economic, social and cultural transformations of the past century. This acce…

Book Review: New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives by Alex de Waal

In New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives, Alex de Waal offers a new political history of epidemics, identifying and critiquing a repeated mobilisation of the ‘war metaphor’ of pandemic disease to show our…

The most consequential experiments carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic will be social

The public image of the response to COVID-19 has been presented primarily through a scientific lens. However, as Alana Couvrette argues, the COVID-19 pandemic has been as intense a period of socio-political experimentation, as scientific. Drawing on ex…

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