Armchair sociology 5, Experts, science & pandemic sociology

The fifth in the Armchair Sociology series of informal conversations facilitated by Liz Stanley is with Gil Viry and explores themes concerning experts, science & pandemic sociology. In the UK coronavirus context, ‘expertise’ is closely associated with people who produce ‘the numbers’, and these constitute ‘the science’ that politicians say they are following. And are there differences when compared with Switzerland and other countries? Also, what kind of experts are they, and what issues exist concerning ‘the facts’ produced, the assumptions they rest on, the kind of discourse they are located in, the claims they make about certainties? And how does this pan out regarding such things as vulnerability and shielding? 

The video of this conversation can be accessed on The Armchair Sociologist YouTube channel here.

Gil Viry is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the role of space and spatial mobilities on family and personal relationships, social inclusion and the life course. His approach to family life in space and time includes the spatiality of personal networks and mobility biographies using social network and sequence analysis. He is currently working on some interdisciplinary projects using advanced methods of social network analysis for analysing the geography of personal networks. Since 2013, he has been leading the Social Network Analysis in Scotland (SNAS) Research Group.

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Liz Stanley

Liz Stanley is Professor of Sociology @ University of Edinburgh, email liz.stanley@ed.ac.uk. I’m a feminist sociologist who works on everyday documents of life, particularly letters, to research social change over time.

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