He’s grounded in humility and humanity; he uses plain language; he admits uncertainties and failings; and he refuses to make the science overtly political
@NLENTS, this is worth reading.
Anthony Fauci has been an extraordinary presence during the COVID-19 crisis: calm yet urgent, informative yet plain-spoken. Along the way, he’s doing something even more difficult than explaining COVID-19. He’s providing insight about the role of the scientific expert in a liberal democracy.
Today, more is required. To qualify as an expert is to meet the criteria for a special social role, and nowadays, having the requisite knowledge, ability and recognition is only part of what one needs. Credentials alone no longer make one credible.
This is where Fauci shines. He’s showing us how to be not just trustworthy but actually trusted.
The role is still fundamentally about providing accurate information. Fauci is fighting the outbreak with “the sledgehammer of truth,” as the Washington Post columnist Karen Tumulty put it—helping everyone to understand the real dimensions of the problem in spite of widespread misinformation and politics-driven fact-spinning.
But what makes him so helpful and credible has to do with how he provides the information, and what’s especially powerful about his approach is that he’s more or less the opposite of a sledgehammer. He is grounded in humility and humanity: he uses plain language; he admits uncertainties and failings; he seems to be at pains to say that he has a special perspective, “as a scientist,” rather than the only possibly useful view; he refuses to make the science overtly political; he is gracious and cautious when offering corrections.
I didn’t know he went to my high school.
Do you think all of this will change the way science and scientists are perceived by the public? I work with a lot of people who are big into essential oils, herbal remedies, juice cleanses, etc in lieu of conventional medicine. While not anti-vaxxers, they don’t follow the recommended vaccine schedule. But for the last few weeks they’ve been spraying bleach on everything they touch and I’ve been inundated with questions about anti-viral drugs and vaccine production.
The good Jesuits seem to have taught him well!
Sometimes I think I learned more in high school than in university, lol.
Not me, because I had the Jebs for college, not high school. hahah. But I’ve heard that comment from many Jesuit HS-educated folks. My high school was not great. Small town, small school, small budget. I had never even heard of AP.
And for doing that, he now needs protection…
Ha, I almost didn’t make it. I don’t think I passed a single Latin or Spanish test in 4 years. They told me I was “language deficient” (among other things lol). Now I speak 3 and working on a couple of others Not blaming them though! It was tough. I made it in the end
This is precisely why Fauci’s non-partisan approach is so important:
Ironically, in the past several days, the president has largely adopted Dr. Fauci’s more dire warnings about the dangers of the rapidly spreading virus. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump called it a “great national trial unlike any we have ever faced before” and echoed Dr. Fauci’s language about the need to minimize its spread.
“It’s a matter of life and death, frankly,” Mr. Trump said, offering a sober assessment of the pandemic’s effect. “It’s a matter of life and death.”
If you look at the numbers China and South Korea have contained the virus much better then the US and most European countries. Why?
At a first glance our technical leaders have developed a less effective strategy. If we look at California it has numbers closer to S Korea and China.
Yes. One point they had down was early testing and contact tracing. That did not happen here in the US.
CA has not done sufficient testing to know scale of problem.