Sheila Jasanoff: Humility will be an important tool for addressing the next pandemic
Professor Sheila Jasanoff—a leading scholar in the field of science, technology, and society—makes a case for humility in the face of crises like the coronavirus pandemic. Her essay, published recently in the Boston Review, anchors a conversation on uncertainty to which other experts respond as part of the publication’s Forum section. Jasanoff argues that, when it comes to COVID-19, we have overestimated the certainty of our predictions. She advocates for implementing “technologies of humility: institutional mechanisms—including greater citizen participation—for incorporating memory, experience, and concerns for justice into our schemes of governance and public policy.” It is an approach, Jasanoff writes, that is “proactive, historically informed, and analytically robust”—and that may help protect the most vulnerable in future crises.