The rapid rise of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the tragedy of the Covid-19 pandemic has been showing how unprepared societies are to respond to public health emergencies. Making matters worse, the production of ignorance in a global arena promoted by society and political leaders has been an interesting sociological phenomenon of the 2020’s coronavirus crisis. In this process we clearly face the dynamic of an agnotological society—an instable sociotechnical network involving fake news, social media, virtual misinformation activism, biased journalists, far-right protests, and other relevant movements in digital life. Although with very different healthcare systems and science and technology capacity, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Brazil are the top countries in number of the global cases of coronavirus infection, and their societies lead high levels of Covid-19 denialism, impacting strongly the credibility of expert knowledge internationally. This research aims to analyze the sociotechnical governance of agnotology in the coronavirus pandemic in international comparative perspective, understanding how state and civil societies from Brazil, the United Kingdom, and the United States dealt with the reproduction of Covid-19 denialism in the official policymaking and society, broadly. This is the first short-term project to foster broader initiatives about the governance of sociotechnical regimes of agnotology in the digital society.
Renan Gonçalves Leonel da Silva
Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo
PhD Candidate in Sociology, Columbia University