Category Archives: Uncategorised

Covid-19: How to learn the lessons of policy failure

The dust is settling on the UK House of Commons report, produced jointly by its Select Committees on health and on science and technology, about the initial handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Predictably, the government’s critics have used its 20/20 hindsight to argue that many lives would have been saved if only they had been… Read More »

Traditional Chinese Medicine and the COVID-19 Pandemic

…What I do want to highlight is that the Chinese state and people take TCM very seriously, that it has played a significant role in their pandemic response, and that you would really not know this from the mainstream Western media. Our understanding of the pandemic in China is framed by our own conceptions of… Read More »

Covid, Science and Politics – the Case of Face Masks

A troubling turn in the public policy management of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the increasing tendency to justify interventions by assertions of scientific truth that bely the uncertainty of the evidence on which they are based. Nowhere, perhaps, is this more obvious than in the case of mandatory face masks in community settings… Nothing… Read More »

The insufferable smugness of working from home

As the pandemic enters its endgame, at least in the Global North, there are many demands to continue home-working, by those who can. This can be coupled with many signals of virtue, such as reducing commutes, limiting opportunities for infections to circulate or promoting work-life balance. Nice for those who can do it – but… Read More »

Vaccine Passports, Governments, and Adult Movies

A puzzling feature of so many proposed exit strategies from the Covid-19 pandemic is the enthusiasm for the use of electronic or paper documents to demonstrate the immunity status of their holder. This might come from prior infection (immunity certificate) or from vaccination (vaccine passport)…. …In the context of an adult movie, information about the… Read More »

New Video – Pandemic sociology and why it matters

This is a recording of a webinar for the Royal Society of Medicine on Thursday 4 March 2021. Professor Dingwall was interviewed by Sir Simon Wessely about the way in which sociologists understood pandemics and why their contribution should matter more than it did. There was a particular focus on understanding pandemics as societal challenges… Read More »