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

April 17, 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 controversies surrounding the World Health Organization to financial troubles at the municipal level as revenue sources dry up. 

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

April 16, 2020

April 15, 2020

April 14, 2020

  • Ron Deibert, professor in the Department of Political Science and director of The Citizen Lab at the Munk School, is interviewed by The Guardian about new surveillance measures being rolled out during COVID-19. “The potential for the abuse of power is pretty extreme,” warns Deibert.
  • David Mulroney of the Munk School comments on CBC News’s The National about Donald Trump’s decision to withhold funding from the World Health Organization due to perceived missteps by China throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “We lost precious weeks in terms of getting the information we needed,” says Mulroney about the early days of the outbreak in China. 
  • Sean Speer of the Munk School is quoted in a Maclean’s op-ed about whether the adverse economic effects of the pandemic could drive a rise in populist discourse. “This particular crisis is perfectly designed for those who want to push back against the trends of globalization,” says Speer.

April 13, 2020

  • Enid Slack is quoted in a Globe and Mail story about shortfalls in municipal budgets and how cities can cope through the economic downturn resulting from COVID-19. Slack says the pandemic is an opportunity to re-asses which levels of government pay for which services, and how budgets can be better allocated. 
  • Spartan Bioscience, a biotech firm headed by Arts & Science alumnus Paul Lem, has received emergency approval from Health Canada to produce and distribute its portable COVID-19 test kits to the federal and provincial governments. The news has received wide media coverage, including in CTV News, Global News, and the Globe and Mail.
  • Lisa Strug, director of the Canadian Statistical Sciences Institute Ontario Regional Centre (CANSSI) and an associate professor in the Department of Statistical Sciences, is featured in a Globe and Mail story about the varying ways COVID-19 affects people in different age groups. Strug and her colleagues are sequencing the DNA from a large number of Canadians who have been infected with the virus in order to study its effects on people of all ages.

April 11, 2020

April 10, 2020

  • Randy Boyagoda writes an op-ed in the Globe and Mail about spiritual communion in a time of social distancing. During this unprecedented time, “religious leaders and believers need to figure out what’s possible and not possible, what our commitments should newly entail and still should not.”
  • John Scott-Railton, researcher at The Citizen Lab in the Munk School, remarks on the potential to use Bluetooth to track COVID-19 cases in a Washington Post (paywall) article. 
  • Professor Margaret MacMillan of the Department of History and the Munk School participates in a panel on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions in which listeners pose questions about COVID-19 to experts from various fields. MacMillan speaks about frequently-used analogies to a wartime situation, commenting on global supply chains and government responsibility for public safety.