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.
How does the role of scientist relate to the role of policy-maker? Philip Thonemann looks at coronavirus science, public policy and the value free ideal.
How can findings in virology help answer ontological questions of process and substance? In the final post in this series, Stephan Guttinger looks at viral life cycles and the role of intrinsic properties.
What happens when a virus crosses species? Stephan Guttinger looks at viral jumps and the origins of pandemics.