The need for public scrutiny of government policy has never been greater, but there’s less tolerance for dissent than usual. Anyone questioning Professor Ferguson's Imperial College analysis is likely to be met with howls of disdain.
The Government should not place too much confidence in any one model, or set of models, but should encourage different teams of experts to come up with predictions and challenge their rivals. It has been bizarre hear claims that we should be strictly guided by “the science” and that any scientist expressing dissent from the prevailing orthodoxy is behaving “irresponsibly”.
Of course the question of the title here is rhetorical. Here are some links to further reading on the topic:
Thanks to: lockdownsceptics.org
- Use and abuse of mathematical models: an illustration from the 2001 foot and mouth disease epidemic in the United Kingdom, Michael Thrusfield et al, Edinburgh Research Explorer, 2006
- ‘Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses, T Jefferson et al, NCBI, July 2011
- ‘A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data by John PA Ioannidis, Stat, March 17th 2020
- ‘Neil Ferguson, the scientist who convinced Boris Johnson of UK coronavirus lockdown, criticised in past for flawed research by Katherine Rushton and Daniel Foggo, The Telegraph, March 28th 2020
- ‘Complicated Mathematical Models Are Not Substitutes for Common Sense by Philippe Lemoine, National Review, March 30th 2020
- ‘Dissent over coronavirus research isn’t dangerous – but stifling debate is by Toby Young, The Spectator, April 4th 2020
- ‘Population-level COVID-19 mortality risk for non-elderly individuals overall and for non-elderly individuals without underlying diseases in pandemic epicenters, John P.A. Ioannidis et al, medRxiv, April 8th 2020
- ‘Predictive Mathematical Models of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Underlying Principles and Value of Projections, Nicholas P Jewell et al, JAMA Networks, April 16th 2020
- ‘The Tyranny Of Models by William M Briggs, wmbrigs.com, April 17th 2020