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Multidisciplinary, rapid, independent reviews of pandemic-relevant research

The world is dealing with an unprecedented pandemic whose scale and complexity is stretching scientific advisory structures to their limits.

Responding to a wide-ranging emergency caused by a new, deadly virus requires research and insights from many disciplines, not just biomedical sciences. All those insights are evolving rapidly.

A large body of potentially critical new research, much of it not yet peer-reviewed, emerges every day. Careful public assessments of all those latest insights across many disciplines are scarce. In their absence, scientific discussions get caught up in political debates. That creates needless confusion and undermines public trust in science itself, just when such trust is essential.

Pandemic Science aims to evolve into a scientific platform that can respond to the emergency by quickly publishing multidisciplinary up-to-date knowledge assessments without translating those into policy recommendations.

We aim to convene expert review teams who will put the latest research relevant to key pandemic questions into context, if needed after quick peer review. Their reviews, which will also address scientific uncertainties that remain, will be placed on this website.

While we are exploring opportunities for funding of this endeavour, we encourage researchers from any relevant discipline to join the U.K.-based ‘scientific crowd filtering’ RAMP Forums, which they can help filter out relevant papers from an ongoing tsunami of new research.

“[..] A multidisciplinary approach is required to develop advice. The disciplines required include the biological and medical sciences, other natural sciences and engineering, the social sciences and the humanities.” [..] “Clarity should cover definition and demarcation of advisory versus decision-making functions and roles.”

Group of EU Chief Scientific Advisors, Statement on scientific advice to European policy makers during the Covid-19 pandemic

“The clear communication of scientific evidence and advice is fundamental to combating the Covid-19 outbreak, and must be guided by clear common principles, including providing advisors with a clear remit, with defined roles and responsibilities [and] considering international science networks as part of the infrastructure for crisis response.”

OECD, Key recommendations for providing science advice to policy makers during the Covid-19 pandemic