Nearly a year after the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in late 2019, the brutal toll of the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise. The result has been not just a crisis of public health but also a crisis of public reason. How should one think in a pandemic?
The question has stoked heated controversy among both experts and citizens as governments decide how to respond to the most disruptive outbreak in generations. What do we know, and how should we act? From masks to models and from data to drugs, the novel coronavirus has prompted a high-stakes dispute about ideas: which evidence counts, which arguments succeed, and which interventions matter.
The essays in this volume—from leading physicians and epidemiologists, historians and social scientists, anthropologists and philosophers—explore this meeting place of science and society head on. Combining historical reflection with careful argumentation, the contributors provide a lucid and essential guide to the greatest public debate of our time. Together they make clear that the challenge of COVID-19 has always been both scientific and social.
Contributors: Marc Lipsitch, Natalie Dean, Trisha Greenhalgh, John P. A. Ioannidis, Alex de Waal, Jeremy A. Greene, Dora Vargha, Jonathan Fuller, Jonathan White, Sarah Burgard, Lucie Kalousova, Cailin O’Connor, James Owen Weatherall, Amy Moran-Thomas.
That’s what sociologist Alondra Nelson says of Boston Review. Independent and nonprofit, we believe in the power of collective reasoning and imagination to create a more just world.
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