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.
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.
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.
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.
Sheila Jasanoff was the guest at a session of Amrita Datta’s Corona Conversations series on Mobility and Migration. She discussed the unequal impacts of the pandemic on working people under the title “Between the Virus and the Vaccine: The Comparative Politics of Public Health Sovereignty.”
STS scholars Kohta Juraku and Kyoko Sato, both on the CompCoRe Japan team, joined podcast host Scott Knowles and other STS scholars for a conversation about Covid and the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on 10th anniversary of the triple disaster.
Stephen Hilgartner, Benjamin Hurlbut, and Sheila Jasanoff argue that US discourse about lack of trust in science needs to be reframed and show that treating political disagreements as being mainly about evidence undermines democracy. They also propose ways to build a more progressive politics of science.
The piece, which addresses disputes over the authorization and rollout of vaccines, appeared in Backchannels, the Society for Social Studies of Science blog. The post links anti-vaccine sentiment to political rupture between João Doria, São Paulo’s governor, and President Jair Bolsonaro.
CompCoRe held its seventh All Teams meeting. Participants presented updates on their countries and discussed national controversies surrounding vaccination.
The USP Journal described the CompCoRe Interim Report in an article titled “Tensões políticas levaram Brasil a fracassar no combate à covid-19, aponta relatório”(“Political tensions have led Brazil to fail to combat covid-19, report says,”). The article discussed the similarities between the Brazilian and US responses to the pandemic, quoting Marko Monteiro (Brazil team) on how political polarization has been detrimental to the effective containment of the virus. Full article in Portuguese here and English translation here.
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