Why scientists are changing their minds and disagreeing during the coronavirus pandemic

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US Surgeon General Jerome Adams holds a face mask during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House on April 22, 2020, in Washington, DC.

 KEY POINTS

  • The changing recommendations during the Covid-19 pandemic on things such as whether to wear face masks has confused the public and caused them to lose faith in science.
  • But changing your mind based on new evidence is a badge of honor in the scientific community.
  • The situation is complicated by the fact that pre-print research is often being debated in public on social media, instead of behind closed doors.

If you’ve tuned into the daily news cycle during the coronavirus pandemic, you’ve probably noticed circumstances where scientists seemed reluctant to share information, debated the latest research on social media or downright changed their views.

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