Multidisciplinary Center for Infectious Diseases (MCID)

Covid-19: Science, Narratives and Policy

Applicant: Dr. Caroline Schlaufer (Cluster: Society and Law)

Recipient of MCID Early Career Research Grant for Women (ECRG-W)

KPM Center for Public Management (KPM)

The Covid-19 crisis has emphasized the important role of scientists in public discourse. This project examines how scientific knowledge is presented in public policy debates and how scientists tried to influence policy debates about the Covid-19 pandemic in the media in Switzerland. The project assumes that scientific knowledge is not presented as ‘just the facts’ in public policy debates but rather embedded in policy narratives. The project will draw on the Narrative Policy Framework to analyse these narratives employed by scientists and compare them with the policy measures adopted by the government. Empirically, the project employs quantitative and qualitative content analysis of media and in-depth interviews with scientists.