A study published this week highlights a significant disconnect between Switzerland’s scientists and politicians during the Covid-19 pandemic, reported SRF.
Science and politics did not work together sufficiently during the Covid-19 pandemic, wrote the authors of the NRP 78 report. The partnership between the scientific community and government institutions was not sufficiently developed to withstand the enormous pressure of a pandemic crisis, they said.
At the beginning of the pandemic there was a lot of chaos and many researchers had no access to the authorities, according to Marcel Salathe, an epidemiologist EPFL in Lausanne. Salathe explained that this was because the relevant contacts were not institutionalised. The disconnect created ambiguity and mistrust. We want to do this better in the future, so we are preparing it now, said Linda Nartey a director at Switzerland’s Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
The NRP 78 project, funded with CHF 20 million, was launched in April 2020, a few weeks after the first pandemic lockdown in Switzerland. Its aim was to gain new insights into Covid-19, develop recommendations for clinical management and healthcare, and advance the development of vaccines, treatments and diagnostics.
Another challenge are mindset differences. Scientists are driven by facts that build a changing picture as new information emerges. Politics is often focused on finding popular (and plausible) narratives that resonate with voters.
SRF article (in German)