The UK has problems with the covid-19 science

The Government is not giving a clear lead

  • The UK Government should be explaining the science around covid-19, and the reasons for Government decisions.
  • Government scientists (the Chief Scientist and the Chief Medical Officer) should be giving clear explanations and answer any questions (if necessary via Q and A documents).
  • Government ministers and other politicians should be giving clear explanations based on what the government scientists are saying.

This is not happening, and this is causing
  • loss of trust
  • conspiracy theories
  • loss of compliance.

Fringe scientists are giving very poor advice, including an unworkable solution of population immunity

Some fringe scientists are causing confusion by
  • making wrong statements i.e. that conflict with the available evidence
  • making statements for which no evidence exists
  • publishing analyses that bypass the normal check that weed out errors by:
    • publishing on Twitter or their own websites rather than in a peer review publication
    • failing to properly explain the background, methods, results, and conclusions
    • not engaging with scientists who hold different views in order to resolve the differences
    • not engaging with criticism
    • not acknowledging and correcting errors

An example is the Barrington Declaration advocating population/"herd" immunity (more here).

In the absence of clear government information, there is much misinformation and pseudoscience online

There are many myths and misunderstandings circulating on the internet (more here).


First published: 17 Oct 2020
Last updated: 17 Oct 2020