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Science Plus Story

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Science is Failing Its Communications Test

Why science is losing the argument about COVID-19

‘To better balance the costs vs. benefits of these incredibly powerful societal concussions, shouldn’t we be focused on social distancing and quarantining of only high-risk populations and those who must engage with them intimately?’

‘I’ve certainly seen variations of your question/proposal — as someone put it crassly, “why are we crashing the world economy for elderly Italian smokers?”’

‘I do expect two things from those in leadership positions who are faced with managing our responses to such national and global crises’

‘Many, but not all are convinced by the messaging; and the durability of the messaging will erode as pain and panic increase’

‘We need at least a robust analysis of a more targeted approach that focuses on more testing and then isolation of the highest-risk populations who may in fact turn out to be a much smaller segment than our current strategy assumes’

‘At some point, I have to ask: why did these Asian countries start to act this way with the data they had, even if those data were showing a preponderance of deaths in older cohorts?’

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Bob Lalasz

Founder & principal, Science+Story. Guiding researchers to become public experts & research organizations to share their expertise publicly.