Coronavirus Impacts

quartet in face masks

Face Masks and COVID – A Failed Technology

A model is only as good as its underlying simplifying assumptions and data, notes Robert Dingwall, and in the case of testing the effectiveness of face masks to combat the spread of COVID those data are, he argues, at best fragile.

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Graphic connecting faces in social network

An Introvert’s Guide to Academic Networking and Hybrid Events

As academic conferences and events re-emerge after a period of COVID-19 induced absence, Mark Carrigan, takes stock of the new post-pandemic world of academic meetings and provides four strategies for how academics can productively navigate and build networks in a world of hybrid interactions.

Horizontal view of International Space Station in space with all solar panels deployed

Scientific Collaboration Across Borders Just Gets Harder

The development of scientific capacity in many parts of the world and the building of academic ties is critical when it comes to responding to a new virus or tracking changes in climate. And yet …

Bounce Back Loan landing page from the British Business bank

Saving Private Business – The UK Bounce Back Loan

Authors Marc Cowling, Paul Nightingale, Nick Wilson, and Marek Kacer find “everything researched and written about COVID-19 in whatever context […]


What Has COVID Done to Our Trust?

A recent paper in The Lancet reports that there are significant associations between both trust interpersonally and, in the government, and standardized COVID-19 infection rates.

Aerial view of the National Institutes of Health campus

Weighing the Benefits from New Data-Sharing Rules from the National Institutes of Health

Starting on Jan. 25, 2023, many of the 2,500 institutions and 300,000 researchers that the U.S. National Institutes of Health supports will need to provide a formal, detailed plan for publicly sharing the data generated by their research.

A protective mask cradles a globe

Pandemic Shows We Must Recraft Editorial Ethics in Academic Publishing

Researchers need to observe ethical standards during a pandemic, say Ben Kasstan, Rishita Nandagiri and Siyane Aniley, and journals should hold them to these standards.

Woman looking over top of book with anger in her eyes

Negative Emotions Feed into Crisis Responses But Do Not Impact All Managers Equally

This study furthers our understanding that threat-driven perception of crisis is not univocal since some top managers can show steady and cold-headed decision-making trajectory even when they feel that crisis is threatening the survival of their business.

Four yellow balls with emoticon faces ranging from smiley to frowny to very sad

Can That Emoji Reveal a Remote Workers’ Emotional State?

A team from the University of Michigan tracked emoji use as a marker of emotions, and tracked how the use of emoji in work communications can predict remote worker dropouts.

elevated boardwalk wends around side of Wugong Mountain

How Organizations Can Help Employees Adapt to Big and Frequent Changes

The full weight of things like financial meltdowns and deadly pandemics, write Lu Chen and Kaixuan Tang, “fall on individuals like a mountain.” How does that play out at work or in other organizations where these individuals are active?

Masked woman using a laptop

As Pandemic Warps Productivity, Early-Career Professors Envision Changes Evaluating Tenure

A Canadian research team observed a profound ripple effect where reduced productivity from increased workload due to the pandemic impacted researchers’ progress.

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How Has COVID-19 Affected Small and Medium Enterprises?

The authors saw a need to summarize and synthesize a broad swath of literature on how exogenous crises including but not limited to COVID-19 impact upon business and society.

Sample of ELIZA chat

The Robot Will See You Now

David Canter follows his concern that psychologists are losing contact with people by considering how computers are presented as replacements for human ‘intelligence’. This ignores the importance of in situ person to person contact, which has been shown by the COVID pandemic to be so crucial for people.


(Belated) New Year Thoughts on the Barriers to Ending the Pandemic

A year ago, we in the UK were approaching Christmas and New Year with quiet optimism as the first COVID […]

Cube made of blocks falling apart

Pandemic-Related Disruptions and Perceptions: How They Matter for Entrepreneurship

Do potential entrepreneurs see COVID-driven upheaval as an opportunity or as a barrier to fulfill entrepreneurial dreams, and to what extent does this vary among potential entrepreneurs depending on their level of self-efficacy?

worn-out work gloves

Has COVID Created a ‘Lost Generation’ of Early Career Researchers?

A year ago the potential impact of COVID-19 on precarious early career researchers (ECRs) looked bleak. Reporting on findings from the longitudinal Harbingers 2 project, David Nicholas suggests the effects of COVID-19 on ECR researchers have been varied internationally. Where pressures from the pandemic have been felt most acutely, particularly in the UK, US and France, it has often aligned with perceptions of ongoing structural issues within academia.

Crisis against blue background

What Happens to Family Firms’ Entrepreneurial Behavior After a Major Crisis?

With the current pandemic creating continuing crises for firms around the planet, Ana M. Moreno-Menéndez, a professor of business organization at the Universidad de Sevilla, Unai Arzubiaga of Universidad del País Vasco, Vanessa Díaz-Moriana of Vanessa Díaz-Moriana and Vanessa Díaz-Moriana, also at the Universidad de Sevilla looked at “The Impact of a Crisis on Family Firms’ Entrepreneurial Orientation: The Role of Organisational Decline and Generational Change,” in the International Small Business Journal.


Webinar: Mental Health in a Global Pandemic – Lessons Learned from Psychological Science

The many impacts the pandemic has had on children, adolescents, and adults, including those diagnosed with a mental illness before […]

scene from Metropolis people at Moloch

Are Other People Hell?

David Canter discusses the alienation between people that is being generated by a combination of fears of interpersonal contact and the power of the internet. Is a new world emerging in which isolated avatars replace social interaction?

Melanie Simms

Melanie Simms on Work

COVID-19 has changed everything, including how we work (and to be more precise, are employed). But in order to best […]

empty hotel conference room

Librarians’ Survey Addresses the ‘Virtual Reality’ of Conference-Going

Texas A&M’s Sarah Dennis surveyed librarians and their conference -going thoughts with an aim is to find “multiple ways to make conferences better for everyone, in-person or virtually.”

Philosopher, likely Galileo, looking a celestial gadget

COVID-19, Masks and Magical Thinking

The state of the face mask debate is rather as if Galileo had published his account of the heliocentric universe and then included a paragraph at the end telling the reader to ignore all the evidence because the Church had declared that everything revolved around the Earth.

Graphic showing circular argumentation

Going Around in Circles with Long COVID

Readers of Social Science Space may recall that Dr. Jeremy Devine suddenly became the best-know psychiatry resident North America when […]


On Taking Long COVID Seriously

Examining how long COVID is viewed by some doctors as psychosomatic, Steven Lubet argues that condescension in the name of compassion is no way to build trust.

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Graphic showing current top priorities

Gearing Up or Burning Out? Survey Findings Show Wellbeing is Top Concern for Higher Ed Faculty

Academic staff have been working harder than ever, and after an incredibly tough 18 months they are now prioritizing their wellbeing as a top concern. What can academic publishers learn from this?

student speaking in classroom with laptop in foreground

Most Universities Don’t Keep Up With Changing Communication

While writing is certainly a critical communication skill, universities need to start learning how to thoughtfully integrate all available skills.


Teaching Sociology in India During the Time of Covid-19

The COVID pandemic has affected teaching in India as it has everywhere. Applying a sociological lens to the Indian experience of teaching sociology itself is instructive.

Stages of online teaching

Remote vs. In-Person University Classes: What Did We Know Before COVID?

Prior to the pandemic, Kevin O’Neill and his colleagues conducted a study of how undergraduates at a public university in Canada chose which courses to take online.

Campus closed due to COVID sign

Is COVID-19 Enabling Academic Disaster Capitalism?

This seems, writes Daniel Nehring, to be a good time to feel pessimistic about academia in the COVID world, and to turn this pessimism into meaningful debate and effective action.


COVID Variants – Time to Stop Jumping at Shadows

When variant forms of COVID appear, argues Robert Dingwall, we must, then, learn not to jump at shadows. No-one can ever say there will never be a risk – but everyday life is full of much more common risks that we tolerate because of the benefits that they deliver.

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Why Social Science? Understanding How We Talk about Asian Americans

Just over two months ago, a white male entered three Asian-owned spas in the Atlanta area, and in the ensuing […]

A spectavcle pedlar shows wares to old woman

The Insufferable Smugness of Working from Home

Back in the day, I attended one of those schools where male character was thought to be formed by endless […]


Resisting the Biosecurity State

These are extraordinary times, and not just because we are coming through the greatest national trauma since the Second World […]

'Stop Asian Hate' sign

Survey Data Confirms Asian Americans Now Top Target for Harassment

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, hate crimes toward Asians and Asian Americans have gotten increased media attention. Our data, from the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study, confirms that these events are happening more often – and are not just appearing more common because of press coverage or public awareness.

Italian_health_pass from 1722

Vaccine Passports, Governments, and Adult Movies

Immunity certification for adult movies developed in California during the late 1990s, after a serious outbreak of HIV among the performers. Robert Dingwall examines the model in light of calls for a coronavirus passport system for the vaccinated.


Opinion: We Must Resist the Powerful Voices Arguing for Zero COVID

Do we treat the coronavirus as an ordinary risk of life, much as we do with the other 30 respiratory viruses that have infected humans throughout history? Or do we try to eliminate the virus from the UK altogether – the so-called Zero COVID approach?

Flicking away a person

2021: From Scholars to Disposable Labor in the Brave New World of Academic Capitalism

In terms of the organization of academic labor, higher education is ever more sharply divided between, on the one hand, an advantaged minority in full-time, long-term employment and, on the other hand, academia’s reserve army of labor.


Video: Polarization During COVID-19

What might be one of the most severe effects of the pandemic. According to two psychologists who contributed to the […]

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cover - Don't panic

No One Can Ensure Total Safety… We Must Fight Pandemic of FEAR

With this pandemic, argues Robert Dingwall, fear amplification has been policy, based on the advice of a particular group of behavioral scientists advising the United Kingdom’s government.


Start Talking Now About Life After Jabs Make COVID Less Deadly Than the Flu

The reports from Britain’s hospitals in the last few days have been truly worrying. No one should doubt the reality […]

person on floor using laptop

COVID’s Lessons On Conducting Fieldwork

The pandemic has shaken our fieldwork activities to the core, if by fieldwork we mean working ‘in the field’. Even though it can be very demanding, we should adapt – when possible – to the new reality, and learn from it, writes Matteo Marenco

Zipper closing on COVID

Readying for a New Normal: Higher Ed Teaching and Learning after COVID

Kiren Shoman, the editorial director for SAGE Publishing, discusses what SAGE has learned from the higher ed sector as it reflects on how the pandemic response has affected teaching and what it expects once the new normal arrives.

woodcut from 1652

Medical Imperialism and the Fate of Christmas

What happens, asks Robert Dingwall, when governments attempt to impose a moral code on the everyday lives of citizens without the consent of those citizens?

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Sonia Livingstone displays her new book

Sonia Livingstone Discusses Digital Publishing in the Face of a Global Pandemic

In this Q&A conducted by the LSE Impact blog, social psychologist Sonia Livingstone outlines the ways that the pandemic has transformed the process of promoting a book. She discusses the heightened importance of social media and the opportunities that digital technologies have afforded for reaching new audiences and adapting conventional formats.

Microsoft Teams promotional graphic

Teaching Students Quants is Hard Enough. Now I Have to Do It on MS Teams!

We have spent the best part of a decade trying, testing and honing techniques to engage and enthuse our undergrads with quantitative data analysis, explains Julie Scott Jones. Then a global pandemic arrived.

Great Plague call to bring out your dead

We Must Learn to Live With the Virus – Just Like Samuel Pepys Lived With the Great Plague

Humanity has a long history of dealing with things like pandemics. What history shows us is that the only practicable interventions are social and behavioral. How can we slow the movement of the new infection through the population while medical science catches up with treatments or vaccines?

SSRC screenshot with Nasima Hassan

Watch Online Conversation on ‘Reimagining Schools’

Given the turmoil that 2020 has brought to the world, can we “move beyond analysis to impact”? That was a question that animated the debut online event for the “Reimagining Social Institutions” series – “Reimagining Schools.”

mail in ballot envelope

What Research Says About Voting by Mail (Spoiler: It’s Safe)

Evidence reviewed by a National Association of Public Administration working group finds that voting by mail is rarely subject to fraud, does not give an advantage to one political party over another and can in fact inspire public confidence in the voting process, if done properly.

Stages of online teaching

COVID-19 Forces Universities to Refocus their Vision

After a rapid switch to distance education due to COVID-19, many universities will remain as virtual campuses in the coming fall semester. For many universities, the focus has been on mastering or refining techniques for remote teaching. But a larger challenge looms.

Women men balance

Beyond Illness: COVID-19 is Hurting Women In Academia

Women are facing additional constraints as a result of COVID-19. These range from the added burdens and responsibilities of working from home, through to the fact that fewer women scientists are being quoted as experts on COVID-19, all the way to far fewer women being part of the cohort producing new knowledge on the pandemic.


Let’s Learn From COVID – Universities Should Rethink the Exam

As universities start to imagine a post-pandemic future, they are faced with a choice – to simply return to the way things were, or embrace this opportunity to change assessment for good.

wave of viruses

Coronavirus UK – A Nasty Infection But Let’s Have a Sense of Proportion

Of course the government should have a Plan B for a second wave. But this might also be a moment to ask where pandemic management is taking us.

Sherman James_Rectangle

Sherman James on John Henryism

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.


Tips for Switching to Teaching Online: Archived Webinar

SAGE Campus is hosting a series of webinars on “Top Tips for Switching to Teaching Remotely.” The first webinar, which appears below, featured Tom Chatfield and Elspeth Timmans, who created the SAGE Campus Critical Thinking online course, discussing key questions from faculty about the shift to teaching remotely.

world is changing headline

Changing Perspectives, Changing Views: COVID and Agile Organizations

Chris Worley, professor of organizational theory and management at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio Business School, and Claudy Jules, the head Google’s Center of Expertise on Organizational Health and Change, offer context behind their commentary, “COVID-19’s Uncomfortable Revelations About Agile and Sustainable Organizations in a VUCA World,” in the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

Our Plan to Rebuild Graphic

Coronavirus UK – Understanding the UK Government’s Policy on COVID-19

The UK government has regularly been denounced by many in the public health community for its absence of strategy in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of this criticism, however, reflects a simple dislike of the strategy or of the government that has authored it. On closer inspection, the UK government does have an intellectually coherent position – just one that is different from that preferred by many public health specialists and activists, and, to some extent, the biomedical community in general.


Virtual Festival of Higher Education Looks at British HE post-COVID

The University of Buckingham, in association with the Higher Education Policy Institute, in bringing the fifth festival of Higher Education […]

Ann Cheney with clinic staff

COVID Can Change How We See and Use Research

In the wake of COVID-19, researchers can become trusted figures of authority who can purposely use their institutional privilege and re-appropriate their research networks, skills and knowledge to better the lives of vulnerable populations during a pandemic.

warning from 1957 flu epidemic

Coronavirus UK – Could We Live With a ‘Second Influenza’?

Six months into this pandemic, we have learned that it is not going to wipe out human life on this planet. This means, argues Robert Dingwall, that it is time for a public policy reset.

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Conspiracy wall

They Don’t Want You to Know That Not All Conspiracy Theories Should Be Treated the Same

Ever since the coronavirus spread across the world, suspicions have proliferated about what is really going on. Questions arose about […]

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Anthropology Webinars Explore Fieldwork, Public Health, & Coronavirus

In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, anthropologists around the world have been preparing to utilize knowledge gained from past […]

Bubonic plague in Europe

COVID-19 UK: How Do Pandemics Come to an End?

In the midst of the present chaos, it is easy to forget that the world has had pandemics before and that they have come to an end. Can we learn anything from these experiences that might help us in dealing with COVID-19?


Coping with COVID-19 as a Research Community: The Sussex Hive Experience

When COVID-19 came around, an obvious joke went around in academic circles: PhD students are already isolated, so nothing will change for them. But nothing could be further than the truth. COVID-19 lockdown and university closures mean a big aggravation to the isolation already experienced by researchers.

seven traits of conspiratorial thinking

Deconstructing ‘Plandemic’: Seven Traits of Conspiratorial Thinking

As scholars who research how to counter science misinformation and conspiracy theories, we believe there is also value in exposing the rhetorical techniques used in the viral video Plandemic. There are seven distinctive traits of conspiratorial thinking. Plandemic offers textbook examples of them all.


How Will COVID-19 Affect the International Reserve Army of Academic Labor?

Around the world, face-to-face teaching has ceased, campuses are closed and empty, a sudden shift to pervasive online has generated little enthusiasm among students, travel restrictions have drained the lucrative flow of international students to a trickle, and many universities have reported significant financial problems. So what do I do with my freshly minted PhD?


AI Tool Guides Researchers to Coronavirus Insights

The big idea The scientific community worldwide has mobilized with unprecedented speed to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, and the emerging […]


Moving Online Huge Challenge for Kenya’s Higher Education

For over a decade Kenya has made moves towards e-learning for university students. This is all the more important now, as universities have closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But questions remain as to how effective it is. Jackline Nyerere shares her insights.

University students in classroom

Higher Education During COVID and Thereafter: Considerations for India and the Developing World

The current crisis we are encountering, as a result of COVID-19, should enable the appropriation of the current system of delivery and assessment in higher education. Technology integration, undeniably, remains essential for the modernization of education in India and other countries in the developing world. At the same time, such efforts should take into consideration of socio-economic factors, including region-specific issues and student diversity.


Gyms, Bars, Cafes– We’ve Lost A Certain Intimacy In Society

Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic implies many painful losses. Among them are so-called “third places” – the restaurants, bars, […]


Why Social Science? Because Institutional Racism Exacerbates our Health and Economic Challenges

Social science can help us in addressing racism, much of it unconscious, in our healthcare, employment, housing, banking, education, and criminal justice systems, which will be critical to meeting health and economic challenges going forward.

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solder's temperature checked

The Pandemic Highlights How We Miss Security Threat of Climate Change

With climate change disasters, as with infectious diseases, rapid response time and global coordination are of the essence. At this stage in the COVID-19 situation, there are three primary lessons for a climate-changing future: the immense challenge of global coordination during a crisis, the potential for authoritarian emergency responses, and the spiraling danger of compounding shocks.


Student Perspectives on the Online Teaching Landscape

Under the threat of coronavirus, many universities took early initiative to empty their campuses and transition to online classroom spaces. […]

Food delivery worker wearing face mask in indonesia

In Indonesia, Social Scientists Could Help in Contact Tracing

While experts in epidemiology are leading the fight against the novel coronavirus, social science researchers can also help make sure contact tracing is carried out in all provinces in Indonesia.


Do Governments Ever Listen to ‘The Science,’ Or Do They Seek post hoc Fig Leaves?

“Being led by the science” evokes a linear model of policy making which is more a myth than reality. In reality, politicians use claims about scientific knowledge in order to justify a course of action.


Lack of Data Hampers COVID Predictions, But Models Still Matter

Models are not meant to predict the future perfectly – yet they’re still useful. Biomedical mathematician Lester Caudill, who is currently teaching a class focused on COVID-19 and modeling, explains the limitations of models and how to better understand them.


Coronavirus UK – Models or Crystal Balls?

As far back as we have records, humans have tried to predict the future. Some societies turned to prayer, divination or oracles. Others to tarot cards or crystal balls. In the modern world, much of that function is fulfilled by mathematical models. Is this new technology of forecasting really an upgrade?


Our Crisis Fatigue Crisis and the Politics of Coronavirus

After two decades that have almost been defined by wave upon wave of crises, argues Matthew Flinders, it’s possible that the public has simply become immune to warnings from politicians and habitually distrustful of their claims.


An Open Letter on the COVID-19 Crisis to Young Social Science Scholars

‘I think,’ writes Damon J. Phillips, ‘ that this suggests that you happen to be coming along in a new era that will be stressful to live through, but also one that will fuel the best of our scholarship. In the coming years and decades there will be an urgency around different questions framed by our current crises.’


Lessons From a Coronavirus Symptom-Tracking App (That’s Free)

“Rather than sending out thousands of online or paper questionnaires, we teamed up with health data science company ZOE to develop a simple symptom-monitoring app called COVIDradar. The app was made from scratch in about four days and would normally take four months. Volunteer citizen scientists use it to report their health status daily and note the appearance of any new symptoms. Once we realized that there was nothing similar available in the UK to monitor symptoms on a population-wide level, we decided to make the app freely available to all.”


Transportation Research Board Seeks Content on Transport and COVID

Having already released a curated collection of existing conbtent relating to the nexus of pandemics and transportation, the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board is looking for other sources of useful information outside of academic journals.

Mother deer nudges young deer by pushing her nose it its backside

Coronavirus Crisis Putting UK Nudging to the Test

If the promises of behavioral science can be believed, the UK government’s use of it would potentially minimize economic disruption while still tackling the crisis. This is because, in theory, behavioral science can achieve desirable behaviors without significantly impacting other day-to-day activities. However, the question is whether in practice behavioral science is helping to mitigate disaster.

Empty university classroom

COVID, the Census, and the Looming University Undercount

Counties with large universities depend heavily on student responses to the decennial census, because the census counts determine the levels of federal funding communities receive. And if those students are counted as being there …?