Fellows of the Royal Society and people that we fund are contributing to the UK and global effort to tackle Coronavirus COVID-19. They are working inside the UK government as well as providing independent support for national and international efforts. The work includes: research on the biology of the virus and therapies to combat it; longer term goals such as the development of vaccines; and reviewing evidence to inform policy making. Tackling such pandemics will require both basic and clinical research at every stage, and the scientific community is doing all it can to help fight this terrible disease and reduce its toll.
The Royal Society is currently using its convening power to support the efforts to model the pandemic by calling on expertise from those working on modelling in other fields. Areas such as traffic planning, financial market modelling, dataflow optimization across communications networks, and individualised marketing on social media will already be using agent-based modelling, often at very large scale and with well-honed data-science toolsets. There may be a way such expertise can be usefully made available to work on the COVID-19 modelling.
A project looking at how to use analytics to gain useful information from data being generated both internationally and within the UK is also being looked at.
The Society has made openly accessible all research findings and data from our Journals that are relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With schools closed across the country the Society has also drawn together a list of our resources, activities and videos that could be used to support home learning in science, technology, engineering and maths.
Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society said: “For the UK, the priority must now be for everyone to diligently follow guidelines and take all necessary actions to slow the rate of infection to a level that will allow the NHS to cope. This will also allow time for long term solutions to this pandemic. A failure to do that will both cost lives and prolong the disruption to society and the economy caused by the current guidelines.”
The Royal Society is grateful to the Leverhulme Trust for its support for the Society’s pandemic response work.