Ebola Response and the Utility of Social Science

The Congo’s devastating Ebola outbreak demands that a critical component of that international response should be to rapidly identify and deploy national and international social scientists, with knowledge of the local context, who can work together to develop the protocols and tools needed to implement social science research so essential for outbreak control.

4 years ago
Zika virus poster from CDC

Zika – What Are the Real Lessons from Ebola?

Another disease in the tropics has the World Health Organisation in a lather, and again biomedicine’s response will not be all that useful in the short term. Social science can help now to address the underlying problems that help the Zika virus to spread — if policymakers will listen.

7 years ago
Saris filter out cholera

Behavior Routinely on Biomedicine’s Back Burner

The challenge of infusing the social sciences into what are generally viewed as biomedical issues has been a long and difficult one, as the recent WHO report on Ebola demonstrates. Oddly, this lesson has been learned many times before, but keeps getting forgotten.

8 years ago

Ebola: WHO and the Consequences of Ignoring Social Science

A new report from the World Health Organization on the response to the African Ebola outbreak backs up what our Robert Dingwall has been writing all along — by downplaying social science lives have been lost. The question now is whether a new WHO can improve.

8 years ago
Medicins Sans Frontieres staff in Guinea

Ebola: The Human Cost of Neglecting the Social Sciences

There is a genuine cost from ignoring lessons from social science in the fight against Ebola. What’s even sadder — these lessons were taught in blood three decades ago in the fights against AIDS. Are we ready for the next malady?

8 years ago
White House ebola workshop

Mobilizing Social Science to Fight Ebola

The National Science Foundation is calling for some shovel-ready social science research to help combat the current crises circling around the Ebola explosion. Social science has some experiences in the field already.

8 years ago
Ebola victim

How Nudge Can Help Us Cope With Ebola

Affective judgments lead us to focus on individual tragedies while blinding us to large-scale tragedy. How can knowing this help us craft the best responses?

8 years ago