On 6 December 2020, Christiane Woopen (PERITIA Advisory Board member & Chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies [EGE]), discussed the different approaches for vaccine approval in the EU and the UK in a Tagesthemen interview, highlighting the crucial role of trust in such procedures for successfully fighting the pandemic. (Interview in German)
An op-ed by PERITIA colleagues Maria Baghramian and Shane Bergin has been published in the Irish Times. To tackle current and future societal challenges like Covid-19, it calls for reassessing the role of expertise at these uncertain times and for joint efforts to “recreate a climate of trust in expertise”.
Read the full article here.
On 2 November, five of PERITIA’s principal investigators discussed questions on trust in science and expertise in the PERITIA webinar “Who to trust on Covid-19?” In a lively and interactive discussion moderated by our colleague Shane Bergin, Maria Baghramian, Tracey Brown, José van Dijck, Bobby Duffy and Carlo Martini shed light on the different strategies used to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic across Europe, their impact on trust in expertise, the general role of science in society, as well as the problems researchers face when there is a high demand for reliable scientific evidence and a high level of uncertainty at the same time.
How does the current crisis shed light on questions regarding the relationship between science, policy and democracy? Watch Cathrine Holst‘s 2020 CPS Annual Lecture “Expertise and democracy: what can we learn from the corona virus crisis?" on 29 October 2020, 14:15-16:00 CET.
Our project partner, the Polish Academy of Sciences, has published the study “Understanding COVID-19. Report of the COVID-19 Advisory Team to the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences”. The report presents the current state of knowledge about SARS-CoV-2 virus, COVID-19 disease and its medical, psychological, economic and social impacts.
2020’s Covid-19 outbreak has shone the spotlight on science advice like never before. On 16 September 2020 PERITIA’s Christiane Woopen and other high ranking European science advisors gathered around a virtual SAPEA round table to reflect on how well Europe’s science advice frameworks are standing up to this major stress test. Watch the video recording!
This webinar was part of the INGSA Global Week of Dialogue. Click here to view the full programme.
Who’s most likely to refuse a Covid-19 vaccine? One in six say they’re unlikely to or definitely won’t get one. This study from Bobby Duffy‘s Policy Institute at King’s College London analyses the attitude towards a potential vaccine and people’s claims why they would or would not refuse it. The Observer reported on the study.
Networks play a crucial role during the Corona health crisis. This webinar (in Dutch with automatically generated English subtitles) organised by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences brought together four experts, including PERITIA’s José van Dijck, to shed light on the relevance of networks in combating the epidemic.
In this interview, conducted (in English) after the webinar, she talks about the complex relationship between technology, user and ideas.
A new UK study by our Work Package Leader Bobby Duffy from King’s College London and Ipsos MORI finds that more people think the Covid-19 crisis has been handled badly than well in the UK, with political leaders receiving most of the blame.
We live in complex times. Times when the opinion of uninformed sources in social media seems to have a stronger influence than expert voices. And if this is a worrying situation at normal times, in exceptional times like in the midst of a global pandemic, knowing whom to trust becomes practically a matter of life and death, for the success of social interactions depends mainly on trust.
This article and three accompanying interviews on the European Science-Media Hub present the work of PERITIA. Our investigators Maria Baghramian, José van Dijck and Bobby Duffy highlight why we need trust in trustworthy expertise, the impact of digital media, how our views of the world are tied up in our own identities, and how a detailed study of trust can be transformed into trust building processes and actions inspiring change that lead to more social cohesion and better democracy.
There is a high level of trust in scientists and a low level of trust in politicians. Onora O’Neill reflects on how scientists and politicians working together in addressing the pandemic has an impact on levels of trust in them.
Contact tracing apps have raised many questions in the context of COVID-19, including technical aspects, ethical concerns, data protection, security, and overall effectiveness. This virtual panel discussion compares different international approaches and experiences from a scientific perspective. It is hosted by ALLEA‘s German Member Academy Leopoldina and includes PERITIA’s Advisory Board member Judith Simon. The event will take place on 15 July from 11:00 to 12:15 CEST, is addressed to the general public and will be held in English. Admission is free of charge. Please register here.
Our PERITIA colleague Danielle Petherbridge from the UCD Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL) presented the winning entries for the 2020 Irish Young Philosopher Awards. The awards, now in their third year, were taking place online due to the pandemic, focusing specifically on moral themes relating to Covid-19. You can find out more about the Awards in this article in The Irish Times and see some of the projects here.
Bobby Duffy is quoted in this Observer article on how people have been living under lockdown: “Human beings are social animals and so we’re trying to substitute face-to-face contact in different ways. The pandemic coming now, in this era where we have social media and video conferencing, has helped – but it is not the same as face-to-face contact. The crisis is making that clear."
There has been much appreciation of the role played in the Covid-19 crisis by lower-paid frontline workers, including migrant workers – but has this led to a shift in views on immigration? Register now for a webinar on Wednesday, 24 June, 12:00-13:15 BST, and join a panel with Bobby Duffy (PERITIA, KCL Policy Institute), Sonia Sodha (The Guardian/Observer) and Sunder Katwala (British Future) to discuss the latest findings, longer-term trends, and what they mean for the future of the immigration system.
Judith Simon from the PERITIA Advisory Board was interviewed (in German) by the University of Hamburg podcast “Wie wollen wir leben?" She talks about freedom, digital sovereignty and a corona warning app.
On 16 June, Tracey Brown from Sense about Science joined an online panel at the Institute for Government to discuss the UK government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. The government has repeatedly said that it will be led by the science. But who decides the agreed scientific view and what happens when it changes? Should politicians, or their advisers, be a part of this process? How does expert scientific advice shape political decision making? And what happens when government ministers decide to ignore, or over-rule, the scientific advice?
Bobby Duffy and his colleagues from the Policy Institute at King’s College London and Ipsos MORI published a major survey showing that trust and confidence in the UK government’s response to coronavirus declined significantly over the past six weeks. Two articles in The Times and on Inews discuss the implications of its results for a gradual return to normality in the UK.
Together with Christiane Woopen, medical ethicist, Executive Director of CERES at the University of Cologne, and member of the PERITIA Advisory Board, the Strategy & Insider Podcast discusses the implications of COVID-19 for basic human rights and that health is only one of our fundamental goods, whereas freedom is the highest good from an ethical perspective.
Our PERITIA colleague Shane Bergin from University College Dublin published an opinion piece in The Irish Times. Scientists have been central to Ireland’s Covid-19 response. As we move from the initial reaction, to a potentially bumpy phase of lifting and applying restrictions, he argues that sustaining public trust in science and scientists will require us talking about how science is done, as well as the outcomes of its work.
Liam Delaney (PERITIA, UCD Geary, LSE), Nick Chater, Paul Dolan, Ulrike Hahn, and Grace Lordan joined an online panel at the London School of Economics and Political Science on 13 May that is now available as a podcast. The impacts of COVID-19 and how we deal with them hinge on how politicians, firms and the public respond. What lessons can we learn from behavioural science about how we act in a time of crisis characterised by great uncertainty? What lessons can behavioural science learn about how it can be best placed to provide guidance in an uncertain world?
41 authors published an article in Nature on how social and behavioural science contribute to tackling Covid-19.
In this video, Silvia Panizza offers three considerations for thinking that human nature is not only motivated by self-interest. The video is part of Ask CEPL, a series of videos on the Covid-19 pandemic that answers your questions.
Our colleagues Maria Baghramian, Liam Delaney, and David Farrel examined Ireland’s Covid-19 crisis response in two online conferences on 24 April and 1 May. The conferences are part of a series of Covid-19 crisis policy response events hosted by PublicPolicy.ie, an independent online platform for informing and debating public policy in Ireland.
In this article published on The Conversation, Bobby Duffy (PERITIA) and Daniel Allington from King’s College London analyse the reaction to the coronavirus lockdown in the UK and identify three main clusters within the population regarding their underlying attitudes towards the measures.
PERITIA Advisory Board Member Judith Simon has been interviewed for an article in the Austrian newspaper Kurier. She discusses a statement from Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Parliament (Bundestag), from an ethical point of view. He has recently stated that not all measures could be justified by the protection of lifes against Covid-19 and that the fundamental right to human dignity not necessarily protects people from having to die.
In this video recording, PERITIA’s principal investigator Maria Baghramian provided some reflections on the role of experts at the time of COVID19 in an online policy session organised by UCD‘s Geary Institute (her presentation starting at 00:26:30).
In light of the overwhelming amount of expertise and advice in the Covid-19 crisis and the apparent challenge to assess this information, PERITIA investigator and Work Package Leader Gloria Origgi reflects on what she names the “reputation age”, in which we should rank the quality of information not by its content but by the agenda of its source.
PERITIA investigator Liam Delaney (Work Package Experimental Measures of Trust/Distrust), jointly with Leonhard K. Lades, Kate Laffan, and Michael Daly, has published a study on the activities, interactions and settings of the lives of Irish people during the Covid-19 outbreak. These were assessed in Ireland on the 25th March, 2020, following the closure of schools and non-essential businesses. The findings highlight key activities that may play a protective role in relation to well-being during the pandemic, the importance of setting personal limits for exposure to Covid-19 related media coverage, and the need for greater educational supports to facilitate home schooling during this extremely challenging period.
Why should I do what I am told to do by the government and the medical authorities? Rowland Stout, PERITIA’s team member and leader of the Ethics of Trust Work Package, addresses this non trivial question.
PERITIA’s José van Dijck and Albert Meijer from Utrecht University discuss the conditions that should apply when using a Tracing-App to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. Opinion article published in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.
Our colleague Judith Simon, Professor at University of Hamburg and member of the PERITIA Advisory Board, offers some advice on ethical questions concerning Covid-19 in an interview with the German local newspaper Oberhessische Zeitung.
Silvia Panizza from CEPL reflects on how the increasingly severe restrictions in Italy have pushed to the forefront questions about humans’ animal nature, the links we form between each other, and the links we have to other animals.
Opinion piece published in the Irish Times and co-authored by PERITIA’s team member and Professor of Economics at UCD Liam Delaney (Work Package Experimental Measures of Trust/Distrust) with Pete Lunn.
PERITIA’s partner ALLEA offers useful research funding and information resources from European Academies and other key stakeholders to help tackle Covid-19 crisis.
SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) has compiled a series of key resources on science advice and Covid-19, as well as a communications guide for disseminating research in these uncertain times.
University College Dublin’s Centre for Ethics in Public Life (CEPL) has published their members’ contributions to the public discussion around the Covid-19 health emergency. They are also accepting ethical questions concerning the current situation from the general public.