Category: COVID-19

A ‘New Normal’ for the Social Sciences: Improving Pandemic Preparedness and Response

COVID-19 has led to an upheaval in almost all aspects of life, including the role of the social sciences in public health and pandemic responses. Whereas in the past, the social sciences have often played the role of cultural brokers, this upheaval offers an opportunity to explore a ‘new normal’, characterised by social scientists taking … Continued

The pandemic is making it harder for researchers but women are hit the hardest. 4 findings from 80 countries

Coronavirus has had a global impact and has affected every aspect of academic and university life. Chris Smith and Deirdre Watchorn  have surveyed 3,200 scholarly authors across 80 countries. They found that the impacts of changes to working conditions might not be experienced equally – and this inequality was divided along gender lines. De Gruyter is an international, independent academic … Continued

Between science and policy—Scrutinising the role of SAGE in providing scientific advice to government

Reflecting on his role as chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee, Greg Clark MP, discusses the effectiveness of the UK’s scientific advisory body SAGE during the COVID-19 pandemic and considers the importance of transparency in assessing the extent to which scientific research can effectively guide government policy.   Since March, the Committee that … Continued

From Impact to Inequality: How Post-COVID-19 government policy is privatising research innovation

Post-COVID-19 government policy has included an increase in investment in the UK’s research sector. However, Daniel Hook finds that the emphasis on the impact of this research means that longer-term, less measurable, blue skies research is being pushed into the private sector. Not only is blue skies research the key driver of technological change, but … Continued

As COVID-19 hits Australian universities hard, how have online writing groups enabled researchers to stay connected and sustain their work?

The COVID-19 crisis has amplified the instability of funding streams in Australian universities, resulting in an already precarious system for researchers being exacerbated. However, in the face of an ongoing retraction of income which is threatening research and the livelihood of researchers, Dr Lisa Hodge and Dr Jason Murphy discuss the flourishing forms of academic … Continued

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