What can social science tell us about the Covid-19 pandemic? Leading social scientists share their perspectives in this Social Science Bites special collection.
As the toll from the COVID-19 pandemic increased, polling suggests counter-intuitively that resistance to a future vaccine has also risen. Anthropologist Heidi J. Larson identified several likely drivers of this, including scientists themselves.
Epidemiologist Sherman James outlines the hypothesis behind John Henryism – the idea that high-effort coping with expectations of achievement amid poverty or segregation can result in serious damage to the striver’s health.
“You don’t have to go back many months,” says Hetan Shah, the chief executive of the British Academy, in this Social Science Bites podcast, “for a period when politicians were relatively dismissive of experts – and then suddenly we’ve seen a shift now to where they’ve moved very close to scientists. And generally that’s a very good thing.”
While you might think that the essentials of human behavior are pretty similar, one of the things Michie quickly tells interviewer Dave Edmonds in this Social Science Bites podcast is that it can be unwise to jump to conclusions when studying behavior (or trying to change it).