Hurlbut moderates session on the “lab leak” hypothesis at STS Summer School

J. Benjamin Hurlbut moderated a panel that discussed the hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 virus escaped from a Wuhan biology laboratory. The session featured a mix of STS scholars, science writers, and participants in the controversy. Key issues included whether debate about the lab leak hypothesis had been prematurely brought to closure and whether it merited being reopened.

Jasanoff brings CompCoRe insights to conversation about climate change with Ezra Klein in New York Times Magazine

Ezra Klein interviewed Sheila Jasanoff and three other experts about what it will take to generate sustainable climate policy nationally and internationally. Jasanoff drew on CompCoRe findings to illustrate that crisis preparedness does not necessarily result in better outcomes, and urged politicians and analysts to pay closer attention to global inequality and distribution of responsibility when considering climate change policies.

Hilgartner discusses CompCoRe at the 2021 InSciTS conference

At the annual International Science of Team Science conference, Hilgartner spoke on the Social Complexities of COVID-19 through the Lens of International Research Collaborations. He summarized key CompCoRe findings and discussed the conditions that made this complex international team research possible.  

Jasanoff and Hilgarner reflect on early CompCoRe findings on Verfassungsblog

Sheila Jasanoff and Stephen Hilgartner, CompCoRe co-PIs, wrote a post about the politics of pandemic responses in Verfassungsblog, an internationally-oriented blog addressing constitutional law and politics. They presented CompCoRe findings and offered an analysis of why some countries were able to enact restrictive public health policies and others were not. In considering such differences, they argued that “the analytic starting point for understanding the phenomenon of trust has to be within national political systems and not in the technocratic domains of either health or economic expertise.” Politicians should examine their national processes for integrating scientific and political consensus-building in order to determine crisis response policies, the authors urged in their conclusion.

CompCoRe Chronicle Issue 2 published

The second issue of CompCoRe Chronicle is out. This issue includes accomplishments from the team, insights about current events from several country teams, and a research note about how national leaders used (or didn’t) war metaphors when addressing their constituencies about the pandemic. Read the full newsletter here.

Tooze presents his new book, Shutdown, in conversation with Hilgartner and Jasanoff, moderated by Özgöde

Historian Adam Tooze (Columbia University) discussed his forthcoming book, Shutdown, at the first STS@Tea, a new series of occasional events co-organized by Harvard STS and CompCoRe. Using a critical macro-finance framework, he examined how the Federal Reserve’s emergency interventions in the US Treasury market in early 2020 made lockdowns possible throughout the world.  Hilgartner and Jasanoff engaged with Tooze’s global perspective from a comparative STS perspective, arguing that the nation state was the key unit of analysis for understanding why many wealthy nations failed to control the virus. Despite their orthogonal perspectives, the consensus was that economic resources were necessary but not sufficient to  manage the pandemic. The event was moderated by Özgöde.

Jasanoff speaks at opening night of Science Gallery Bengaluru exhibition

Sheila Jasanoff gave a keynote lecture titled “Control, Consensus, Chaos: The Global Response to the Pandemic” at the opening night of CONTAGION, an online exhibition that explores the transmission of emotions, behaviours and diseases. The lecture drew on CompCoRe findings and how they might inform our understanding of the human impacts of the pandemic. Science Gallery Bengaluru organized the exhibition.  

Jasanoff advises NASEM on pandemic preparedness

Sheila Jasanoff spoke on “Social and Political Context of Preparedness” at the first meeting of the Influenza Public Health Interventions Committee at National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). Her talk counseled the committee on priorities for analyzing the COVID-19 pandemic and related events. The committee is tasked with strengthening non-vaccine measures for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
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