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Lara Keuck on the need for history of science in the pandemic

07.05.2020 13:27

History of Science ON CALL, a project of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) in Berlin, has published a contribution by Branco Weiss Fellow Lara Keuck. In her short video Keuck asks whether historical infection outbreaks are comparable to the current corona crisis and whether the current uncertainty is exceptional. Then she explores the functions of historical comparisons between past and present pandemics and explains how history informs Covid-19 policies such as testing and lockdown strategies.

The History of Science ON CALL project combines research and education and aggregates information relevant to crises. The project’s portal offers 3–5-minute video contributions from scholars from the humanities who present their latest research in order to put the things that are happening around us in perspective: what does quarantine mean, what epidemics have occurred in the past, and what instruments to fight them do we have at hand? How did various systems of governance arise that underwrote pandemic-scale disasters and responses? How are emotions used and exploited in times of crisis?

Watch Lara Keuck’s video on the History of Science ON CALL website