Mark Walport on the UK’s use of science advice during COVID-19

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Should scientists be free to speak out if they don’t like how politicians use science? Who is to blame if government policy doesn’t follow advice? Why were some countries hit harder than others by COVID in the spring, and did the quality of science advice have anything to do with it? When do scientists speak as scientists, and when are they simply ordinary citizens?

Sir Mark Walport discusses these questions with Toby Wardman of SAPEA. We also discuss the job of a chief scientific advisor, who’s really in control of coronavirus (hint: it’s not us), and why UK emergency response committees have such awesome names.

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