Should artificial agents’ responses to difficult choices align with our own moral intuitions? Johanna Thoma considers the difficulties involved in programming machines to deal with risk, and how things look different from an aggregate point of view.
How can the philosophy of science help inform our response to COVID-19? Stephan Guttinger looks at the history and philosophy of ribonucleic acid (RNA), a central but often overlooked molecule in the story of the pandemic.
It’s clear that beliefs can be wrong about the way the world is, but can they also be wrong in a moral sense? Lewis Ross looks at the moral status of belief.
Scientific advice cannot be completely neutral or independent, says Jonathan Birch. But records from autumn 2020 suggest that the Cabinet Office leant on SAGE to build in optimistic assumptions about the government’s ability to control the pandemic.
How can we mitigate the risks of future pandemics? Jonathan Birch looks at the role of human behaviour in the emergence of new zoonotic diseases.
Modelling is vital if we are to control COVID-19, but it is not infallible. In this post, Roman Frigg and James Nguyen explain how epidemiological models work and consider the uncertainty inherent in their predictions.
Can the justification for current COVID restrictions be challenged on scientific grounds? Philippe van Basshuysen and Lucie White look at the evidence used by Winsberg et al. in their case against lockdowns.
Science and policy in extremis, part 1: what can we learn from the UK’s initial response to COVID-19?
SAGE uses a set of assumptions called the “reasonable worst-case scenario” in its pandemic planning. In this post, Jonathan Birch looks at the group’s minutes and documents from early 2020 and argues that over-reliance on these assumptions led to costly delays.
What unfolded in the UK in the spring of 2020 was a national tragedy within the global tragedy […]