Watch the Webinar: How Social Science Advances Our Understanding of Pandemics

Scientific research, innovation, and evidence have contributed to COVID-19 mitigation and response. As parts of the globe emerge from a second year of life under pandemic, to what extent have social and behavioral science insights illuminated our understanding of the alignment between human behavior and the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts? What gaps remain in our data and knowledge? The webinar

Pandemics have no respect for borders. Yet borders – both at national and sub-national levels – play an undeniable role in determining population vulnerability and resilience in the face of infectious disease. In the United States, almost all aspects of the COVID pandemic have been polarized. Why? How can cross-national and historical analyses inform our perspective of how citizens learn from and engage with scientists, experts, and each other? What do we know, and what remains unsettled, regarding social and cultural influences on science communication, decision making under uncertainty, leadership, governance, the psychological burdens of stress and anxiety, the friction between individual and collective interests, and behavior more generally? In this hour-long webinar, four fellows of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) Peter Loewen of the University of Toronto, Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington, Prerna Singh of Brown University, and Robb Willer of Stanford University, joined The Atlantic‘s Alexis Madrigal to consider such questions and appraise the state of the art in social and behavioral science research, essential if we intend to prepare for and respond to future pandemics more effectively.

The webinar, part of the CASBS Social Science for a World in Crisis series, took place on June 23, 2021.

This event is produced by the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford in partnership with CIFAR, the Public Policy Forum, SAGE Publishing, the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and the Pandemic Action Network.

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Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

The Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University is a national and international resource that exists to extend knowledge of the principles governing human behavior to help solve the critical problems of contemporary society. Through our residential postdoctoral fellowship programs for scientists and scholars from this country and abroad, we seek to advance basic understanding of the social, psychological, historical, biological and cultural foundations of behavior and society.

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