What does the future hold for analytic and experimental philosophy? Petr Jedlička looks at current research methods and asks where the next generation of philosophers might lead us.
When advisors warned of “significant concerns” about the Alpha variant, the UK government acted quickly. But suspicions about Alpha’s greater transmissibility were first noted a week earlier. Jonathan Birch suggests that when the stakes are so high, even low confidence in a particular outcome can be enough to justify policy interventions.
What does the evidence say about the effectiveness of statins and about the balance between effectiveness and possible adverse side-effects? John Worrall – a long-time analyst of evidence in medicine – has recently had personal reason to reconsider these questions.
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.
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.
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 […]
What’s really at stake in the mind-body debate? Jonathan Birch looks at some of the explanatory differences in approaches to the metaphysics of consciousness.