Science, Society and Policy in the Face of Uncertainty

Now available online – a recording of the presentation at the Virtual Conference of the British Sociological Association’s Medical Sociology Group on 10 September 2020, chaired by Jen Remnant and featuring Professor Graham Martin (Cambridge) Dr Esmee Hanna (De Montfort) and Professor Robert Dingwall (NTU/Dingwall Enterprises). Prompted originally by the scientific dispute over the value… Read More »

Qualitative Research Methods for Nurses

Now published – with pandemic update squeezed in as it went to press and added to the supporting website! Covering the entire research process – from understanding theory to writing up your project – this book provides students with an easy-to-follow introduction to qualitative methods in nursing and healthcare. It offers straightforward guidance on key… Read More »

The Coffin Cure: Why Vaccine Regulation Matters

Sociologists of Science and Technology take science fiction very seriously. Although it is often dismissed as a cheap literary form, it represents an important way in which contemporary societies try to think about and shape their futures. In this respect, it stands alongside more ‘respectable’ literary forms like modelling or scenario planning. Science fiction emerges… Read More »

Should doctors be in charge of pandemic policy?

Would the world be a better place if it were governed by physicians instead of politicians? The Greek scholar, Plato, asked that question 2,500 years ago. After all, physicians focus on healing the sick and promoting the health of the well. Why would you not want to put them in charge? That focus, Plato says,… Read More »

Socio-cultural reflections on face coverings must not ignore the negative consequences

…Compulsory policies on face coverings have been introduced primarily on the basis of biomedical evidence, with limited input from other disciplines, for example the social sciences and engineering. Given the challenges Covid-19 has created for society, never has there been a greater need for meaningful interdisciplinary dialogue… Westhuizen and colleagues’ engagement with ideas beyond the… Read More »

Patrician policymaking

…policies have been made by people with very narrow life experiences and imposed on others with whom there is ‘no intercourse and no sympathy’…This indifference is as true of our scientific and medical elites as of our politicians and public servants. Although STEM disciplines have traditional been ladders of social mobility, we are seeing the… Read More »

Is Covid-19 a disease?

Let us first understand that ‘disease’, ‘illness’ and ‘infection’ are not categories that are given to us by nature. They are human moral judgements about the undesirability of the impact of certain microorganisms on ourselves, and a few favoured plant and animal species that are particularly relevant to us. Most of the sciences that study… Read More »

Now online – The debate around face coverings for the public during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had enormous effects on health, wellbeing, and economies worldwide. Governments have responded with rapid and sometimes radical public health interventions. As nations grapple with the question of how to regain normality without unnecessarily endangering lives or healthcare systems, some scientists have argued for policies to encourage or compel the use of… Read More »