2 thoughts on “COVID-19 science communications and recommendations for improvement

  1. Susan Baxter

    Agree with your ‘final comments’. While a great deal of the time public health experts and so on are reasonably “right” (so to speak) to say that they take it as a “badge of honour” when what they say changes over time is over optimistic if not outright wrong. I can understand that policy experts are often between a rock and a hard place: the public wants answers that they often simply do not have. On the flip side, they have been known to cry wolf a fair number of times and to my recollection very few if any have gone on record to say something along the lines of gosh, we were wrong. Sorry. We overreacted.
    And .. not all criticism of these edicts is conspiracy. There are thoughtful, educated people who differ in their interpretation of the data, of the situation, the circumstances. When Caulfield poo-poohs the notion that the covid-19 virus originated in a lab .. well, there are a lot of people at present who think that could have happened, including the WHO.
    Another issue I have is that many of the “experts” have zero expertise in the areas they’re rambling on about. Sorry, but I’d rather hear what an immunologist has to say about a virus than an epidemiologist or a virologist, both of whose area of knowledge excludes the human being in the middle there.
    Finally, there is a real danger that those whose living depends on freaking the rest of us will veer on the side of the negative. It is, after all, human nature to want to make one’s own expertise seem significant. And scientists – and science communicators – are human, just like the rest of us.
    Unfortunately, at present politics comes into play along with social media and the internet and so on, making rational discourse even more complicated. Here’s a thought: Maybe you and I can get a grant to study it ..

  2. Maryse de la Giroday Post author

    Hi Susan! Thanks for reading and big thanks for the comments. Yes, disagreement doesn’t mean you should be consigned to the ‘kook’ brigade. There are some perfectly valid objections and criticisms to be made about how the COVID-19 pandemic and proposed solutions have been handled. I very much appreciate you noting that immunologists might have more cogent insights than epidemiologists or virologists because after this relentless campaign I have tended to lump them all together. As for scientists and science communicators being human (just like the rest of us) and prey to the desire for attention and admiration, I couldn’t agree with you more. Cheers, Maryse

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *