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Britain must harness the social sciences to fight post-pandemic deprivation | Will Hutton

The wealth of research going on around Covid and inequality could be used to help everyone lead healthier lives

  • Will Hutton is the incoming president of the Academy of Social Sciences

For the past year the repeated government invocation has been that it will “follow the science”. As the world knows, the general direction of scientific advice, although there have been occasional dissenters and differences of emphasis, has been surefooted and mainly right – the government’s responses less so. As deadly calamity succeeded calamity, the Johnson government has finally become more willing to really “follow the science”. The measured, data-driven – and so far successful – exit from the current lockdown is in part due to those lessons being learned.

However, keeping Covid at bay once lockdown has been left behind will require new disciplines of research assuming first-order importance – and which also need to be followed with equal diligence. Beyond Covid, they have an evidence-based insight on many of the challenges that confront the country – from regional inequality to promoting innovation, from the recurrent causes of systemic ill health to educational failure. Step up the social sciences.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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