12 November 2020

Science and government policy re coronavirus

"A survey by Frontiers, a Swiss publisher of scientific journals, asked some 25,000 researchers in May and June whether lawmakers in their country had used scientific advice to inform their covid-19 strategy."
Res ipsa loquitur, via The Economist.


  1. Golly, apart from South Africa it is like a graph of countries to visit, from the safest to the least so.

    1. Just curious why you would exclude South Africa?

  2. I think the USA may have to be considered differently. Why? As was obvious during portions of the pandemic, there were medical professionals who were giving us all sorts of different advice. I was hearing how being placed on your back, or on a ventilator, was bad news.

    I also think there was some vested interest in having differing viewpoints. If the CDC said X, then said Y, some people held onto X as the right way to go.

    And of course there is the fact that pretty much anyone can be a "journalist." I would see one show that indicated that the hospitals were overflowing...then another where it appeared no one was hardly at home.

    I don't know what all that means, but if we had a single, authoritative science organization, it is such in America that there is likely to be a good deal of people seeing it as Big Brother or some other nefarious act.

    It appears to be driven by politics, to a certain extent--and by that, I mean both the scientists and those to whom the scientists are providing information (i.e., the people). That's how twisted we've all become, I fear, due to the pangs of the last four years (for both sides, alas).

    Further, the process of science is one in which a step is taken, then, if it is found to be incorrect, a different path is taken. And while that is absolutely how science should be done, it so happens that in our charged society, it was looked at as either scientists not knowing what to do...or either fake news (one either side).

    America just seems to be a different sort of country than those others that strongly trust their governments. There's likely some good that comes out of that, but probably more bad than anything.


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