Has the current pandemic crisis changed how people perceive science?

The sociologist Michel Dubois expresses his views on the findings of a survey conducted in late May to assess the public’s perception of scientific research.

In France and around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically focused public attention on the sciences with the mobilisation of researchers playing a decisive role. Called upon by both the media and government authorities, they have been highly active in providing information, and at times correcting misconceptions.

In some cases, this crisis communication has been an opportunity for a much-awaited renewal, in particular concerning the presence of women in the media.

In an interview on the public radio channel France Culture, the virologist Anne Goffard emphasised that the pandemic, more so than previous ones, has made it possible to see “women working as department heads in public and university hospitals, acting as spokespersons and showing that they are in charge”. “It is important for us, and also for the younger generation,” she said.

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