During the COVID-19 pandemic, science has been prominently featured in institutional communication and political agendas as never before. Governments substantially relied on scientific experts to analyze pandemic trends, develop anti-COVID-19 vaccines and adopt containment strategies. In this paper, we analyze speeches by three political leaders-Boris Johnson (Prime Minister, UK), Sergio Mattarella (President of the Republic, Italy), and Ursula von der Leyen (President, European Commission)-between February 20, 2020, and February 20, 2022, to identify how science was addressed and framed. The results of the quantitative and qualitative exploration of the speeches highlight three main ways in which political leaders view science: a national pride narrative-i.e., science as an instrument and indicator of national pride and international standing of the country; an ethical narrative-i.e., science as an agent of social growth; an integration narrative-i.e., science as a driving force of both European integration and stronger collaboration between knowledge production and industry. The predominant narrative varies in relation to the political leaders' different institutional contexts and roles.

The role of science in a crisis: Talks by political leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic / Loner, Enzo; Fattorini, Eliana; Bucchi, Massimiano. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 18:3(2023), pp. e0282529.1-e0282529.18. [10.1371/journal.pone.0282529]

The role of science in a crisis: Talks by political leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic

Loner, Enzo;Fattorini, Eliana;Bucchi, Massimiano
2023-01-01

Abstract

During the COVID-19 pandemic, science has been prominently featured in institutional communication and political agendas as never before. Governments substantially relied on scientific experts to analyze pandemic trends, develop anti-COVID-19 vaccines and adopt containment strategies. In this paper, we analyze speeches by three political leaders-Boris Johnson (Prime Minister, UK), Sergio Mattarella (President of the Republic, Italy), and Ursula von der Leyen (President, European Commission)-between February 20, 2020, and February 20, 2022, to identify how science was addressed and framed. The results of the quantitative and qualitative exploration of the speeches highlight three main ways in which political leaders view science: a national pride narrative-i.e., science as an instrument and indicator of national pride and international standing of the country; an ethical narrative-i.e., science as an agent of social growth; an integration narrative-i.e., science as a driving force of both European integration and stronger collaboration between knowledge production and industry. The predominant narrative varies in relation to the political leaders' different institutional contexts and roles.
2023
3
Loner, Enzo; Fattorini, Eliana; Bucchi, Massimiano
The role of science in a crisis: Talks by political leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic / Loner, Enzo; Fattorini, Eliana; Bucchi, Massimiano. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 18:3(2023), pp. e0282529.1-e0282529.18. [10.1371/journal.pone.0282529]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/373507
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