A&S scholars sharing their COVID-19 expertise in the media this week

April 3, 2020 by Jovana Jankovic - A&S News

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our community and the world, scholars from a range of disciplines across the Faculty of Arts & Science are sharing their expertise on pressing issues in the media — from the fate of globalization to citizen trust in public institutions.  

Here’s some of what A&S scholars had to say this week. 

April 2, 2020 

  • Professor Peter Loewen of the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Department of Political Science participates in a discussion on TVO’s The Agenda about people’s varying levels of compliance with public health guidelines. “It’s taking people a little bit of time to figure this out; let’s see if people are finally getting the message,” says Loewen. 
  • John Scott Railton, a senior researcher at The Citizen Lab in the Munk School, is quoted in a BBC Online article about an Israeli spyware firm pitching COVID-19 monitoring tools to governments. Railton warns that the firm “has shown that it is uniquely capable of damaging public trust.” 
  • Professor Emeritus Jack Carr of the Department of Economics comments on COVID-19’s impact on the Canadian economy in the Toronto Star (paywall), which he believes will “snap back” once the virus is under control — despite the fact that “we’ve had a huge shock.” 
  • Adjunct Professor Enid Slack of the Munk School speaks to CBC News Online about the challenges facing local governments in Manitoba as they attempt to balance budgets amidst skyrocketing costs during COVID-19.  

April 1, 2020 

  • Associate Professor Mark Manger of the Munk School and the Department of Political Science comments in a Toronto Star (paywall) article on how the wage subsidy plan will prevent mass layoffs.  
  • Assistant Professor Sean Speer and Professor Janice Stein of the Munk School discuss whether COVID-19 will decrease a belief in globalization on TVO’s The Agenda. “This is the first crisis in living memory for many people when governments are unable to provide critical civilian equipment that’s necessary to save lives,” says Stein. “That’s not a passing moment.” 

March 31, 2020 

  • Michael Valpy, senior fellow at the Munk School, writes an op-ed in Maclean’s on the role of the state and citizens’ trust in public institutions during the COVID-19 crisis. “In cataclysmic times like this, it is governments that people depend on,” writes Valpy, noting “a seismic shift in collective behaviour and attitudes, and maybe a new sense of direction and innovation.” 

March 30, 2020 

  • Bob Rae and Mel Cappe, both professors in the Munk School, write an op-ed in the Globe and Mail on maintaining critical economic and social ties during the fight against COVID-19. They reflect on the roles public policy and government institutions can play to keep Canadians and the world safe, healthy and financially secure. 
  • Sociology Professor Scott Schieman advises on best practices for employees working from home in a CTV News Online article. Schieman comments on the importance of maintaining a schedule, taking regular breaks and increasing daily communications between coworkers. “This has required a lot of people to adjust very quickly to a new way of communicating,” says Schieman.  

March 27, 2020 

  • Will the Canadian government be able to handle the surge in jobless claims and accompanying applications for employment insurance and other kinds of financial compensation? Professor Mel Cappe of the Munk School comments on government capacity in a BNN Bloomberg video interview.