Lockdown, freedom and responsibility

Two years ago, we learned a new word: ‘lockdown’. This was in fact an old word which acquired a new meaning during the Covid-19 pandemic. That new meaning gradually changed over time. Now ‘lockdown’ has more or less lost its meaning and just stands for something to be avoided at all cost or something that …

Coronavirus: Risk, rumour and resilience 

I was just starting to write this post, when I saw a tweet from Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust, quoting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu, Director-General of the World Health Organisation, who said, as widely reported: “This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, …

Warnings, war metaphors and infectious diseases: A little lit review

We are living through another global outbreak of an infectious disease: this time it’s a new version of the coronavirus. This outbreak of disease is, as usual, accompanied by an outbreak of war metaphors…. (some of them now collected in a later blog post). This brings back memories of other outbreaks, both in animals and …

Making Science Public: End of year blog round-up, 2018

2018 is the year that the Leverhulme Trust funded programme ‘Making Science Public’ really ended (today our director Sujatha Raman is submitting the final report to the Leverhulme Trust). My last post on the programme, entitled ‘Making Science public: six years on’, mentioned one of the most important milestones of our work, namely the publication with Manchester …

Competitive risk promotion: A historical assessment

This is a guest blog post by Adam Burgess, who specialises in the sociology of risk (University of Kent, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research) I’d like to take up where Brigitte left off in her blog post about the antibiotic apocalypse and very schematically draw attention to what I would describe as …

The Threat of Fracking: Real or Constructed?

Guest post by Dr. Rusi Jaspal, Research Fellow on the ESRC’s Climate Change as a Complex Social Issue programme in the School of Sociology & Social Policy. (This post can be read in conjunction with Rusi’s 2014 article in The Conversation) Global energy consumption is likely to rise significantly over the next two decades with …