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Academics’ unscientific assertions on Covid are exacerbating division


The pandemic has demonstrated that there are broad deficiencies in quantitative reasoning skills even within the academy, says David Sanders.
As if the direct effects of Covid-19 on public health were not bad enough, the pandemic has also been exploited as an opportunity to advance many socially corrosive agendas. These include xenophobia, science rejection, conspiracy-theory propagation, cultism, antidemocratic agitation, antivaccination propagandising and generalised fearmongering.

Unfortunately, far too many of the academic community are exacerbating the problems. Sometimes their efforts are directed towards countering the antisocial forces; nevertheless, their abandonment of logic and egoless objectivity constitutes a betrayal of the norms of scientific discourse that will ultimately increase public mistrust of science – and loosen humanity’s hold on reality.

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