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Jonathan Birch (LSE): “Science and policy in extremis: the UK’s initial response to COVID-19”

11 November, 4:30 pm6:00 pm

This event will take place online via Zoom. 

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Abstract: For those of us interested in developing norms for effective scientific advising, the SAGE minutes (59 sets of which are now publicly available) are a valuable resource. Drawing on these minutes, I consider the wider lessons for norms of scientific advising that can be learned from the UK’s initial response to coronavirus, highlighting five key issues: (i) the division of advisory labour, (ii) the grain of recommendations, (iii) the role of worst-case scenarios, (iv) switching cost asymmetries and (v) the difference between independence and neutrality.


Jonathan Birch is an Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at LSE.


11 November
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Event Category:




Online via Zoom