Brazil team’s Marko Monteiro made a presentation, titled Health technologies and pandemics: building resilient governance, at the INCEPTION Symposium – Social Sciences and Biology for Understanding Emerging Diseases, organized by Institut Pasteur, Paris on November 25-26, 2021. Monteiro’s talk was based on his co-authored book chapter, “Global Health and Planetary Health,” which proposes principles for global governance of emerging bio risks and ways to increase resilience to withstand future risks. This work is a product of the cooperation around the Global Technology Assessment network.
Marko Monteiro participated in a roundtable on the politics of responding to Covid 19 in Brazil, sanitary democracy and the right to health at at 2021 Meeting of the Brazilian Association for Research in Social Science (ANPOCS). The event was organized between October 19 and 27, 2021, and Monteiro’s paper, Covid 19 in Brazil: Controversies and the politics of expertise, explored the politics of expertise in Brazil in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
CompCoRe participants organized four panels at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) annual meeting. Sheila Jasanoff launched the first panel, Fractured Consensus, with introductory remarks, and the German, South Korean, and Singaporean teams presented their work on the challenges their respective governments faced in producing consensus on Covid response. The second panel, Experts and Democracy, examined the controversies around expert authority and knowledge in France, Brazil, the Netherlands, and Australia. The third and fourth panels, in contrast, analyzed the role of publics and public health technologies in the production of such controversies in Austria, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, the UK, and the US. The panel series was concluded by Stephen Hilgartner’s remarks.
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.
In a session on STS in the World, Jasanoff and Hilgartner discussed how country-specific social compacts express shared expectations of proper relations among citizens, the state, and experts, exploring how modern social compacts shaped national responses to the pandemic.
At the International Society for Public Law, Austria team members Iris Eisenberger and Thomas Boucz presented their research on Austria’s and New Zealand’s pandemic responses and judicial review systems. They examined how the lockdowns were communicated and challenged in the courts. The authors discussed what having judicial review of government communications means for upholding the rule of law in the face of crisis. More information here.
Tobias Oloffson of the Sweden team published a review of Legal Rules in a Crisis by Johan Hirschfeldt and Olof Petersson. The book asks what kind of democratic decision-making a crisis requires and how it differs from “peace-time” political processes. Olofsson’s review emphasized that pandemics necessitate overriding the slow decision-making processes in favor of swift crisis management.
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.
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.
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.
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