In this talk I will present the results of the Italian branch of the international research project ESCaPE (Evaluating Scientific Advice in a Pandemic Emergency) which I led in 2020-21 and which was aimed at understanding how expert advice was sought, produced, and utilized in the management of the Covid-19 emergency in Italy. This qualitative case study relies on a mix of both primary (stakeholder interviews) and secondary (official documents and communications by expert advisory bodies, ministerial decrees, and policy documents) data collection. This case study provides an overview and encompassing representation of the mobilization of experts, and of selected types of evidence, in Italy in 2020. Their findings suggest that expert politics can lead to the confirmation of knowledge hierarchies that privilege hard sciences, and corroborate prior literature indicating that economic and social expertise has not been well integrated into public health expert advice, constituting a major challenge for policymaking during an emergency. You can find further information here as well as the full article published in nature here.
When: 5 May 2023, 12:00 – 14:00
Where: Conference room (A222), Department of Political Science, University of Vienna, Universitätsstr. 7/2nd floor, 1010 Vienna
The pandemic has had a profound impact on our environment. Lockdown measures have resulted in significantly reduced levels of air pollution, and what may be the first time we have begun to see noticeable changes in the world we live in. Despite this, it seems that the climate emergency has been put on hold while attention and resources have focused on fighting the pandemic.
As part of our King’s Experts Series, join us as we ask our panel: What lessons can we learn from the pandemic when it comes to climate change and the environment? Will coming out of lockdown undo the progress already made? What are some of the parallels that can be drawn between the impact of the pandemic and climate change?
The event is organised by and for KCL Alumni but open to all interested parties and you can sign up here:
For those who are unable to join via Zoom, we will also be live-streaming the discussion on our Alumni YouTube channel.
At this event
Executive Dean, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy
Senior Lecturer in Bioethics and Society
Head of the Department of Geography
Camporesi S, & Knuckles JA (2014). Shifting the burden of proof in doping: lessons from environmental sustainability applied to high-performance sport. Reflective Practice, 15(1), 106-118.
One of Lance Armstrong’s former sponsors…
In this paper, co-authored with James A. Knuckles, we analyse the role of incentives in high-performance sports, borrowing concepts from sustainability policies and applying them to the context of doping in sports. Professional athletes discount their future health in exchange for desired enhanced performances. In the same way, many industrialised societies discount future environmental health for short-term economic returns, jeopardising the future of the planet. We propose a solution to alter this discounting, by applying the lessons from environmental sustainability, which has long proposed shifting the burden of proof away from regulators in order to alter the practice of discounting the planet’s future health for current economic gains, to high-performance sports.
We argue that the burden of proof for doping should not rest on the athlete or the team of sports doctors, but should rest instead on the sponsors. Under this system, WADA would retain and strengthen its own testing, and impose severe penalties on the sponsors of any athlete found to be doping.
Only by making the companies accountable for the athletes they sponsor, can we de-link sponsorship money from a win-at-all-costs mentality in sports that in turn leads to doping, and subsequently to discounting the future health of the athlete.