Nice idea, wrong species

Science

By CAPosts 12 April, 2021 - 10:20pm 6 views

Employees of the quality control laboratory at the Sant Joan Despí (Barcelona) facilities of the pharmaceutical company Reig Jofre, which will produce the Janssen vaccine against coronavirus.Andreu Dalmau / EFE

I have shot the owner of the evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson , who, once asked for his opinion on communism, responded with characteristic style: “Nice idea. Wrong species ”. Wilson was a student of social insects, such as bees and ants, and he knew that these swarms formed optimal organizations with amazing ease. With the possible exception of the queen, the individuals there only count as numbers and do not hesitate to sacrifice their lives for the good of the hive. Communism, Wilson thought sarcastically, would be an excellent theory for an insect colony, but it didn't work in a species like ours, made up of free, critical, and reflective agents, and also other harmful, perverse, or antisocial ones, yes, but equally individual and unrepeatable. Nice idea, wrong species

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) and some thirty world leaders have supported earlier this month the signing of a binding international treaty that prepares the world for the next pandemic. The idea is a global agreement coordinated by the WHO that commits the signatory nations to share their knowledge and experience for the benefit of global health. Who could oppose that goal? We have never seen anything like it, except in bad science fiction series. A global agreement would drastically limit the damage of a future pandemic, and could even juggle it in the bud. But our ability to act in an optimal and altruistic, rational and sensitive way, is a profound unknown. As the Nature editorialist argues , it is enough to look at what happens in this pandemic to doubt it.

The governments of countries with resources are doing their best to achieve herd immunity within their borders, and their concern for the health workers of Africa is, to round up a little, nil

Governments had on hand - and were informed of this by the WHO - to agree on an international distribution of anticovid vaccines that would have prioritized the vulnerable population of the world and the first-line health workers before young and middle-aged people of its territory. It was very doubtful that they would do that, and indeed they have not. The governments of countries with resources are giving everything to achieve herd immunity within their borders, and their concern for the health of Africa is, rounding a bit, nil.

Janssen vaccine: this is the drug that comes and immunizes in a single

jab The result is that the rich world will be vaccinated by the end of this year, and developing countries will have to wait for 2023, being optimistic. But a pandemic is a global disaster, and it can only be solved by vaccinating the entire world. Political philosopher Daniel Innerarity will scold me for being arrogant - read his insightful article this Monday, a real lesson in thought - but one function of science is to transmit data and ideas that inform politicians and the public. Governments, of course, have to make the key decisions, and we just discussed the best example: vaccinate the world or your province. It is clear that a politician would have a hard time to justify the first, but that does not quite constitute an argument in favor of the second. Maybe we're the wrong species after all.

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Source: Elpais

Science Coronavirus covid 19 Coronavirus Vaccination Vaccines Scientific research Medical research Immunology Who International treaties Pandemic

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