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Scientific research opportunities

(12 Posts)
BlueRaincoat1 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:42:27

I have been so saddened by the awful number of deaths today, and I in no way mean to be insensitive or disrespectful with this topic. Obviously no one would wish to have for an opportunity to present itself in this way.

I have wondered however about the research that may come out of this situation that would otherwise have only ever been hypothetical, either because of ethical, economic or political concerns.

For example,
The effect on the environment and global warming of enormous amounts of flights being grounded over an extended period;
The effect on local air pollution of significantly reduced road traffic (and consequent health effects);
The effect on children and babies of reduced social contact (depending on how long this goes on for)

Anyone else been thinking about this - especially researchers/academics in sociological or environmental fields?

OP’s posts: |
DoubleHelix79 Wed 01-Apr-20 17:59:32

I'm actually working on a database that captures research projects relevant to Covid-19. There is a very significant amount of research going on - much of it of course health related, but also many projects using social science, for example around the psychological impact of quarantines, how to communicate with people so they understand the importance of control measures etc. I haven't seen a project focused on the environmental impact yet, but it's likely that someone will look at this. I can post the link to the database here when it goes live (likely end of the week), if people are interested.

Branster Thu 30-Apr-20 21:16:09

DoubleHelix79 yes pleeeease! Pretty please!
Lots of us would be very interested.
My internet history is 500 miles long on all my devices and computers and am afraid of deleting it yet. Hoping to get to chip away at it and have a reference list but I simply don’t get the time. There’s always something new to read, understand, digest, cross-reference, discuss that I don’t have time to share all the information. There is sooo much out there and lots of small scale very interesting observations from a lot of countries. I wish I could understand 50 languages, have 4 extra pairs of eyes and a bigger brain to absorb and sift through faster.
Is your database gathering information from all over the world or just the UK?

Nibblonian Thu 30-Apr-20 21:23:52

DoubleHelix79, is this the database you were referring to?

LilacTree1 Thu 30-Apr-20 21:26:16

I’m sure academics are all over it OP. 🙄

LilacTree1 Thu 30-Apr-20 21:29:22

Oh and I’ve no objection to people profiteering

But call it what it is. Don’t hide behind “I’m an academic building more models”. I can only hope less of the taxpayers money goes to this shit.

midgebabe Thu 30-Apr-20 21:29:30

Guardian this morning had number of lives saved through cleaner air so someone is doing something

Branster Thu 30-Apr-20 21:39:06

Nibblonian thank you very, very much for sharing that link.
I’m going to steal it for another thread, I hope you won’t mind.

Nibblonian Thu 30-Apr-20 21:43:18

Not at all Branster! I can take no credit for it.

Nice piece of work. I've found it very useful so far.

Raccoon2020vision Thu 30-Apr-20 21:45:21

There are several registries out there, with masses of research being reported. The papers aren't reporting it yet because a) it's not sexy (yet) and b) it's going to take time. There may be a vaccine. Nobody knows for sure yet although several are at the test phase, and many brave people have volunteered. In the meantime, other interventions may help - masks, existing drugs, social distancing, better hygiene. The jury's still out on some of them.

Most of the big STEM publishers are making research articles and other information available free of charge as well. In over 20 years of being a librarian (mainly health and science related, with a dash of education and business and a couple of other subjects) I've never seen anything quite like this sudden explosion of knowledge. Historically, it's a very, very sad fact that medical and scientific knowledge has often increased dramatically in times of conflict.

And that's just the clinical and science side of things, let alone the environmental factors. So in that respect, yes, the amount of knowledge is increasing at an unprecedented rate, with even those who've never picked up a science book since school taking an interest.

When I looked yesterday there were close to 1,000 clinical trials taking place, or about to take place, that mentioned COVID-19 explicitly. Today there are over 1,000. You can search at - it's not a secret. There are other sites out there with no particular axe to grind beyond making information available, in a free and neutral way.

The brightest scientific minds on the planet are working on this. It's not their fault if some governments won't listen, but it's one of the reasons I'm so very cynical about what's coming out of the mouths of politicians and journalists in 3 countries in particular, maybe 4, of which the UK is one.

That's when I'm not listening to the Barney Rubble show in sheer horror and hysteria with a big bucket of popcorn in the early hours!! Our politicians may have handled some aspects of this crisis in a questionable manner, but they're not unhinged in that way.

GinJeanie Thu 30-Apr-20 22:11:07

This might be of interest. Roughly 14 minutes in...

MedSchoolRat Thu 30-Apr-20 23:32:04

For those of us who can claim to be called infectious disease epidemiologists, the flood of interest from other types of academics has been overwhelming. And sometimes amusing. I end up explaining kind of simple basic epi concepts.

The effect on children and babies of reduced social contact (depending on how long this goes on for)

See review by Brooks et al.

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