|David Garcia on Thu, 20 Jan 2022 14:05:01 +0100 (CET)|
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|Re: <nettime> CfP: Critical reflections on pandemic politics: left-wing, feminist and anti-racist critiques|
There are certainly important questions to be asked about the ways in which the science is being framed and sometimes manipulated at a time when ‘knowledge’ is increasingly being seen as central in what we take democratic politics to be. Boris Johnson’s original attachment to the ‘herd immunity’ (famously declaring let the bodies pile high) was being justified at the time as “guided by the science”.
Richard Horton, the editor of the respected medical journal the Lancet, worried that “the relationship between the scientific advisers and politicians in the early phase of the epidemic was strangely collusive”. And James Wilsdon, (professor of research policy at Sheffield University) has been arguing for some time that “The entire science advisory system feels as if it has been fundamentally – perhaps fatally – compromised by the pandemic.”
I don’t know how the data was communicated in the Netherlands but I certainly shared Wilsdon’s discomfort that from the very first moment I saw those press conferences “with Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, the Government Chief Scientific Advisor, flanking the Prime Minister” [like a pair of praetorian guards] “which rang all sorts of alarm bells, in terms of lines of accountability and the blurring of the distinction between advice and decision-making.”.
These questions will only increase in importance as we move into a new political phase where the science behind of net zero target will become the new frontline of politics..
Your knee-jerk response is an excellent example of elitist and false-oppositional ‘left’ thinking that has completely fallen for the government and big-pharma propaganda, and forgets to think critically about power structures, knowing very well that right-wing and left-wing, while also entertaining huge differences, are not pure opposites. Baudet would be proud of you; he can rake in the spoils.
All beautiful examples of a "Querfront" discourse where extreme right positions are packaged in left-wing rhetoric. Not a single point, however, on minorities and vulnerable people and communities endangered by anti-vaccer egoism, and neo-Darwinist politics - for example in the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, of "herd immunity" through survival of the fittest.
You should invite Dutch experts Willem Engel and Thierry Baudet as keynote speakers.
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