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Narrative Analysis - Report

Key Focus

  • The crisis caused by the lethal COVID-19 pandemic and by the responses to the crisis have made billions of people worldwide acutely interested and overexcited about science
  • An analysis showed that scientists from every single one of the 174 disciplines that comprise what we know as science has published on COVID-19. By the end of 2020, only automobile engineering didnt have scientists publishing on COVID-19
  • The pandemic led seemingly overnight to a scary new form of scientific universalism. Everyone did COVID-19 science or commented on it. By August 2021, 330,000 scientific papers were published on COVID-19, involving roughly a million different authors
  • This dismissive, authoritarian approach in defense of science may sadly have enhanced vaccine hesitancy and the anti-vax movement, wasting a unique opportunity that was created by the fantastic rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Momentum supporting factors

  • (science,media)
  • (science,universalism)
  • (science,communalism)
  • (scientists,covid-19,virus)
  • (scientists,virus)
  • (media,mainstream)
  • Challenge supporting factors

  • (science,media)
  • (science,health)
  • (science,vaccines)
  • (science,covid-19)
  • (media,the_lancet)
  • (science,the_lancet)
  • (health,unconflicted)
  • (scientists,unconflicted)
  • (scientists,smeared)
  • (scientists,dollars)
  • Work-in-progress supporting factors

  • (science,political)
  • (science,covid-19)
  • (science,health)
  • (science,universalism)
  • (science,communalism)
  • (scientists,covid-19,automobile)
  • (science,media)
  • (science,vaccines)
  • (science,realization)
  • (science,weaponized)
  • Narrative Summary - REPORT


    Time PeriodChallengeMomentumWIP
    Report16.15 10.00 73.85

    High Level Abstraction (HLA) combined

    High Level Abstraction (HLA)Report
    (1) (science,covid-19)100.00
    (2) (science,media)93.02
    (3) (science,health)89.53
    (4) (science,universalism)83.72
    (5) (science,political)79.07
    (6) (science,communalism)70.93
    (7) (science,vaccines)57.75
    (8) (scientists,covid-19,automobile)39.92
    (9) (scientists,covid-19,virus)34.50
    (10) (science,realization)27.13
    (11) (media,mainstream)24.42
    (12) (scientists,smeared)23.64
    (13) (science,weaponized)22.87
    (14) (science,vaccine)22.48
    (15) (science,uncertainty)22.09
    (16) (media,the_lancet)21.71
    (17) (science,the_lancet)21.32
    (18) (scientists,automobile)20.93
    (19) (scientists,virus)15.89
    (20) (scientists,covid-19,universalism)15.50
    (21) (scientists,universalism)14.34
    (22) (scientists,covid-19,damage)13.95
    (23) (scientists,damage)13.18
    (24) (health,unconflicted)12.79
    (25) (scientists,unconflicted)12.40
    (26) (scientists,families)11.24
    (27) (scientists,dollars)10.85
    (28) (health,scientists)10.47
    (29) (scientists,corporate)10.47
    (30) (scientists,bono)10.08
    (31) (health,policy)9.69
    (32) (media,policy)9.30
    (33) (media,nonexistent)8.91
    (34) (health,smeared)8.91
    (35) (media,health)7.36
    (36) (media,experts)6.98
    (37) (media,zealots)6.59
    (38) (media,scientists)6.20
    (39) (media,scandals)5.81
    (40) (media,retraction)5.43
    (41) (media,medical)5.04
    (42) (health,participatory)3.49
    (43) (health,scienceand)2.71
    (44) (health,politics)2.33
    (45) (health,mainstream)1.16
    (46) (health,humiliated)0.78
    (47) (health,experts)0.39

    Narrative Analysis - REPORT

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    Supporting narratives:

    Please refer to knowledge diagram for a complete set of supporting narratives.

    • momentum (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The Mertonian norms of communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism have unfortunately never been mainstream in education, media, or even in science museums and TV documentaries on scientific topics.. . Before the pandemic, the sharing of data, protocols, and discoveries for free was limited, compromising the communalism on which the scientific method is based
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,media)

    • momentum (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The Mertonian norms of communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism have unfortunately never been mainstream in education, media, or even in science museums and TV documentaries on scientific topics.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,universalism)
        • (media,mainstream)
        • (science,communalism)

    • momentum (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The New England Journal of Medicine, another top medical journal, managed to publish a similar paper; many scientists continue to heavily cite it long after its retraction.. . The hottest public scientific debate of the momentwhether the COVID-19 virus was the product of natural evolution or a laboratory accidentcould have been settled easily with a minimal demonstration of communalism (communism, actually, in the original Merton vocabulary) from China: Opening the lab books of the Wuhan Institute of Virology would have alleviated concerns immediately
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,covid-19,virus)
        • (scientists,virus)
        • Inferred entity relationships (2)
        • (scientists,virus) [inferred]
        • (covid-19,scientists,universalism) [inferred]

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Lack of communalism during the pandemic fueled scandals and conspiracy theories, which were then treated as fact in the name of science by much of the popular press and on social media. The retraction of a highly visible hydroxychloroquine paper from the The Lancet was a startling example: A lack of sharing and openness allowed a top medical journal to publish an article in which 671 hospitals allegedly contributed data that did not exist, and no one noticed this outright fabrication before publication
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,the_lancet)
        • (science,media)
        • (media,the_lancet)
        • (media,retraction)

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Anything any apolitical scientist said or wrote could be weaponized for political agendas. Tying public health interventions like masks and vaccines to a faction, political or otherwise, satisfies those devoted to that faction, but infuriates the opposing faction
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,health)
        • (science,vaccines)

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The crisis caused by the lethal COVID-19 pandemic and by the responses to the crisis have made billions of people worldwide acutely interested and overexcited about science
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,covid-19)

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Consultants who made millions of dollars from corporate and government consultation were given prestigious positions, power, and public praise, while unconflicted scientists who worked pro bono but dared to question dominant narratives were smeared as being conflicted
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,unconflicted)
        • (scientists,unconflicted)
        • (scientists,dollars)
        • (health,scientists)
        • (scientists,corporate)

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Consultants who made millions of dollars from corporate and government consultation were given prestigious positions, power, and public praise, while unconflicted scientists who worked pro bono but dared to question dominant narratives were smeared as being conflicted.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,smeared)
        • (scientists,bono)

    • challenge (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • However, alongside thousands of solid scientists came freshly minted experts with questionable, irrelevant, or nonexistent credentials and questionable, irrelevant, or nonexistent data.. . Social and mainstream media have helped to manufacture this new breed of experts. Anyone who was not an epidemiologist or health policy specialist could suddenly be cited as an epidemiologist or health policy specialist by reporters who often knew little about those fields but knew immediately which opinions were true
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,mainstream)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • It was all of us, a conglomerate that has no name and no face: a mesh and mess of half-cooked evidence; frenzied and partisan media promoting parachute journalism and pack coverage; the proliferation of pseudonymous and eponymous social media personas which led even serious scientists to become unrestrained, wild-beast avatars of themselves, spitting massive quantities of inanity and nonsense; poorly regulated industry and technology companies flexing their brain and marketing power; and common people afflicted by the protracted crisis
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,media)
        • (media,scientists)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Organized skepticism was seen as a threat to public health. There was a clash between two schools of thought, authoritarian public health versus scienceand science lost.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,health)
        • (health,scienceand)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • This process undermines the wider adoption required for such interventions to be effective. Politics dressed up as public health not only injured science. It also shot down participatory public health where people are empowered, rather than obligated and humiliated
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,politics)
        • (science,health)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • This dismissive, authoritarian approach in defense of science may sadly have enhanced vaccine hesitancy and the anti-vax movement, wasting a unique opportunity that was created by the fantastic rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,covid-19)
        • (science,vaccines)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Nevertheless, despite the cynical realization that the methodological norms of science had been neglected (or perhaps because of this realization), voices struggling for more communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism had been multiplying among scientific circles prior to the pandemic
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,universalism)
        • (science,communalism)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The pandemic led seemingly overnight to a scary new form of scientific universalism. Everyone did COVID-19 science or commented on it. By August 2021, 330,000 scientific papers were published on COVID-19, involving roughly a million different authors
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,covid-19)
        • (science,universalism)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Broader public and media dissemination of scientific discoveries was largely focused on what could be exaggerated about the research, rather than the rigor of its methods and the inherent uncertainty of the results. . . Nevertheless, despite the cynical realization that the methodological norms of science had been neglected (or perhaps because of this realization), voices struggling for more communalism, universalism, disinterestedness, and organized skepticism had been multiplying among scientific circles prior to the pandemic
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,realization)
        • (science,uncertainty)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • How the Pandemic Is Changing the Norms of Science.. . Imperatives like skepticism and disinterestedness are being junked to fuel political warfare that has nothing in common with scientific methodology.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,political)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • It was not a single person, not a crazy general or a despicable politician or a dictator, even if political interference in science did happenmassively so. It was all of us, a conglomerate that has no name and no face: a mesh and mess of half-cooked evidence; frenzied and partisan media promoting parachute journalism and pack coverage; the proliferation of pseudonymous and eponymous social media personas which led even serious scientists to become unrestrained, wild-beast avatars of themselves, spitting massive quantities of inanity and nonsense; poorly regulated industry and technology companies flexing their brain and marketing power; and common people afflicted by the protracted crisis
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,political)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Politics had a deleterious influence on pandemic science. Anything any apolitical scientist said or wrote could be weaponized for political agendas. Tying public health interventions like masks and vaccines to a faction, political or otherwise, satisfies those devoted to that faction, but infuriates the opposing faction
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,political)
        • (science,weaponized)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • An analysis showed that scientists from every single one of the 174 disciplines that comprise what we know as science has published on COVID-19. By the end of 2020, only automobile engineering didnt have scientists publishing on COVID-19
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,covid-19)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Lack of communalism during the pandemic fueled scandals and conspiracy theories, which were then treated as fact in the name of science by much of the popular press and on social media
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,communalism)
        • (media,scandals)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Yet during the pandemic, requesting better evidence on effectiveness and adverse events was often considered anathema. This dismissive, authoritarian approach in defense of science may sadly have enhanced vaccine hesitancy and the anti-vax movement, wasting a unique opportunity that was created by the fantastic rapid development of COVID-19 vaccines
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (science,vaccine)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Whatever the origins of the virus, the refusal to abide by formerly accepted norms has done its own enormous damage.. . By the end of 2020, only automobile engineering had no scientists publishing on COVID-19. By early 2021, the automobile engineers had their say, too.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,covid-19,automobile)
        • (scientists,automobile)
        • Inferred entity relationships (2)
        • (covid-19,scientists,universalism) [inferred]
        • (covid-19,scientists,virus) [inferred]

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • By the end of 2020, only automobile engineering didnt have scientists publishing on COVID-19. By early 2021, the automobile engineers had their say, too.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,covid-19,automobile)
        • Inferred entity relationships (2)
        • (covid-19,scientists,universalism) [inferred]
        • (covid-19,scientists,virus) [inferred]

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Whatever the origins of the virus, the refusal to abide by formerly accepted norms has done its own enormous damage.. . By the end of 2020, only automobile engineering had no scientists publishing on COVID-19
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,damage)
        • (scientists,covid-19,virus)
        • (scientists,covid-19,damage)
        • Inferred entity relationships (3)
        • (scientists,virus) [inferred]
        • (covid-19,scientists,universalism) [inferred]
        • (damage,scientists) [inferred]

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • By early 2021, the automobile engineers had their say, too.. . The pandemic led seemingly overnight to a scary new form of scientific universalism.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,covid-19,universalism)
        • (scientists,universalism)
        • Inferred entity relationships (2)
        • (covid-19,scientists,virus) [inferred]
        • (scientists,universalism) [inferred]

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • My heroes are the many well-intentioned scientists who were abused, smeared, and threatened during the pandemic. I respect all of them and suffer for what they went through, regardless of whether their scientific positions agreed or disagreed with mine
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,smeared)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Many brilliant scientists were abused and received threats during the pandemic, intended to make them and their families miserable.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (scientists,families)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Social and mainstream media have helped to manufacture this new breed of experts. Anyone who was not an epidemiologist or health policy specialist could suddenly be cited as an epidemiologist or health policy specialist by reporters who often knew little about those fields but knew immediately which opinions were true
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,health)
        • (health,experts)
        • (health,policy)
        • (health,mainstream)
        • (media,policy)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • However, alongside thousands of solid scientists came freshly minted experts with questionable, irrelevant, or nonexistent credentials and questionable, irrelevant, or nonexistent data.. . Social and mainstream media have helped to manufacture this new breed of experts
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,nonexistent)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Opponents were threatened, abused, and bullied by cancel culture campaigns in social media, hit stories in mainstream media, and bestsellers written by zealots. Statements were distorted, turned into straw men, and ridiculed
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,mainstream)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • . Social and mainstream media have helped to manufacture this new breed of experts. Anyone who was not an epidemiologist or health policy specialist could suddenly be cited as an epidemiologist or health policy specialist by reporters who often knew little about those fields but knew immediately which opinions were true
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,experts)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Opponents were threatened, abused, and bullied by cancel culture campaigns in social media, hit stories in mainstream media, and bestsellers written by zealots. Statements were distorted, turned into straw men, and ridiculed.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,zealots)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • The retraction of a highly visible hydroxychloroquine paper from the The Lancet was a startling example: A lack of sharing and openness allowed a top medical journal to publish an article in which 671 hospitals allegedly contributed data that did not exist, and no one noticed this outright fabrication before publication
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (media,medical)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Consultants who made millions of dollars from corporate and government consultation were given prestigious positions, power, and public praise, while unconflicted scientists who worked pro bono but dared to question dominant narratives were smeared as being conflicted. Organized skepticism was seen as a threat to public health. There was a clash between two schools of thought, authoritarian public health versus scienceand science lost
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,smeared)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Their self-censorship has been a major loss for scientific investigation and the public health effort. My heroes are the many well-intentioned scientists who were abused, smeared, and threatened during the pandemic.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,smeared)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Many excellent scientists have had to silence themselves in this chaos. Their self-censorship has been a major loss for scientific investigation and the public health effort
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,scientists)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • My heroes are the many well-intentioned scientists who were abused, smeared, and threatened during the pandemic.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,scientists)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • Honest, continuous questioning and exploration of alternative paths are indispensable for good science. In the authoritarian (as opposed to participatory) version of public health, these activities were seen as treason and desertion. The dominant narrative became that we are at war
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,participatory)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • This process undermines the wider adoption required for such interventions to be effective. Politics dressed up as public health not only injured science. It also shot down participatory public health where people are empowered, rather than obligated and humiliated.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,participatory)

    • WIP (Read more) - Back to HLA
      • It also shot down participatory public health where people are empowered, rather than obligated and humiliated.
      • High Level Abstractions:
        • (health,humiliated)