Situating the biology of COVID-19: A Conversation on Disease and Democracy (Sabina Leonelli)

By Sabina Leonelli with Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Thomas Cousin and Michelle Pentecost

‘Struggles for a more just, fair, inclusive, or caring politics in the time of Covid-19, need to be grounded in the everyday work of building institutions, supporting the vulnerable amongst us, and cultivating a deeper ethic of mutuality.’

What have been the epidemiological and political responses to Covid-19, and what have been their implications for democracy? Four diasporic scholars, living and working in three continents examine, in a comparative perspective, how the pandemic has revealed relationships between disease, technocracy and governmental accountability, and argue for community-driven approaches rather than authoritarian interventions.

These themes are also central to a topical collection I am editing for the journal History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (HPLS), “Biomedical knowledge at a time of crisis: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on COVID-19”.

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