Colloquium - If we listen to science, what language does it speak? Reflections on science, values and pandemics

When and Where

Wednesday, November 03, 2021 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm


Professor Ross Upshur, Dalla Lana Chair in Clinical Public Health and IHPST


Abstract Response to the current SARS-CoV-2/Covid-19 pandemic has often been labeled as science led or evidence based with concerns as to whether governments are "listening" to science or scientists. I will argue that many of the core elements of pandemic response are philosophical  in nature. I will further argue for greater engagement  by philosophers with the ethical and epistemological issues that are manifest in pandemics and suggest that humanities scholars deserve to be represented on "science" tables addressing pandemic policy. I will draw from research conducted with colleagues from SARS-1 through H1N1 influenza, Ebola and SARS-CoV-2 to illustrate these issues.