EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #9

Reports that are of interest for the week

COVID-19: Is the B.1.1.7 variant more lethal?
The variant B.1.1.7 has spread across the UK, accounted for three-quarters of all infections, and there have been 3,000 confirmed cases in the US. The mortality rate is 64% higher than the original. 

The Pandemic and the Limits of Science
This article compares the COVID-19 pandemic to the Spanish Flu pandemic. It shows how deadly they were and describes some of the science that occurred behind the scenes. 

It’s not (only) about the science
In this article, Joshua Roth, a teacher in Arlington, Massachusetts, talks about his views of schools reopening and the vaccination efficiencies. It goes into his concerns from a teacher’s perspective. 

How to Debunk Misinformation about COVID, Vaccines and Masks
Scientific American gives advice to people on how they can make sure they are listening to the right advice. These pieces of advice include: find and bookmark the facts that matter, remember that science is messy and provisional, set norms by modeling good behavior, depoliticize the science, consider before you “like”, set realistic goals, make it about protecting your neighbors, and aim for community immunity. 

Review finds some Trump administration CDC COVID-19 guidance was not grounded in science
This article talks about specific guidance that came from the CDC during the Trump administration that didn’t actually come from the CDC nor was it based on science. 

Science in the Time of Covid-19
This is a 28-minute podcast from BBC regarding what the pandemic has revealed about our relationship to science. 

Could an accident have caused COVID-19? Why the Wuhan lab-leak theory shouldn’t be dismissed
Alison Young talks about her work in understanding safety conditions in elite US labs in which she has found that US researchers have walked around with bites and dirty clothing as well as lost specimen vials or disposed of them poorly. Her main point is that if it happens in the US it could also happen in other places. 

Roger Pielke Jr. on shadow science advice
In case you missed it last week, here is the recording of Roger Pielke Jr’s conversation with Toby Wardman from SAPEA. They discuss questions around science advice and its relationship to policy. 

Brokerage at the science-policy interface: from conceptual framework to practical guidance
This article talks about knowledge brokers and how they connect researchers/experts and decision makers but have to do so without affecting the actual decisions made. 

Science has taken center stage in the last 12 months
Professor Dame Anne Glover talks about the COVID-19 pandemic being predictable, and talks about how if communication was better between scientists, policy makers, and the common citizen, things would have gone a lot smoother. 

Post- COVID-19 Futures Commission Podcasts
This is a set of podcasts involving experts talking about a wide range of “specialisms” on COVID-19 all over the world.