Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva and Larry Au share results of their SSRC-supported study that compares three countries whose response to the pandemic has been especially fraught: Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Through a deep analysis of mainstream media coverage, they identify and analyze the different ways that Covid skepticism played out in these countries. Drawing on the concept of “sociotechnical imaginaries,” the authors show how blind spots in the ways experts and policymakers explain the need for certain responses can spark contestation over them.
In their contribution to the “Covid-19 and the Social Sciences” series, Larry Au, Zheng Fu and Chuncheng Liu examine how experts and expertise have been drawn upon in predicting the path of the pandemic and how to respond to it in China, Hong Kong, and the United States. The authors draw on their ongoing research that traces media accounts of the role of expert knowledge in all three places, and discuss how different kinds of expertise engage with different audiences: with the state in China, with civil society in Hong Kong, and with both in the United States.