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Those who tell us what to do during the pandemic must earn our trust | David Spiegelhalter

Honesty, competence and a willingness to give us all the facts are vital in persuading people to believe what they’re toldCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageYou’d be forgiven for not knowing what to believe during this pandemic. Some scientists who say their claims are based on evidence tell us that lockdown is too severe; others...

Covid-19: how vaccines lead to immunity – podcast

With a number of Covid-19 vaccines seemingly on the way, Nicola Davis talks to Prof Eleanor Riley about how they might help the body’s defence mechanisms fight the virus Continue reading...

Coronavirus live news: Germany extends partial lockdown as world suffers record daily deaths

Global cases pass 60m; nearly 13,000 daily deaths reported worldwide; the Americas reported more than 1.5m cases in the last seven days Sicily asks Cuba to send medics as Italy fights second Covid waveChristmas and Covid: is mixing households a good idea?Germany to decide next round of Covid restrictionsSee all our coronavirus coverage 1.30am GMT A...

Scientists ask to see evidence behind relaxing UK's Christmas Covid rules

Five-day easing prompts warning that one guest could infect a third of people at a gatheringCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMinisters are facing calls to publish scientific advice on the relaxing of Covid-19 rules over Christmas amid warnings that a single infectious guest could infect a third of those at a household gathering.Under...

Data glitch 'may have led to more than 1,500 Covid deaths in England'

Public Health England disputes Warwick University economists’ findings as ‘misleading’Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAn Excel spreadsheet error that wiped nearly 16,000 English Covid cases from national statistics may have led to more than 1,500 preventable deaths, according to a paper from Warwick University.Cases that...

UK scientists warn of third wave of Covid after Christmas

Fears easing restrictions over festive period will lead to rise in cases and overwhelm NHSCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageGovernment scientists have warned the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions over Christmas could lead to a third wave of the pandemic, with increased transmission and unnecessary deaths.Families across...

Marcus Banks obituary

My academic mentor and friend Marcus Banks, who has died aged 60 of epilepsy, was a social anthropologist. He played a leading role in promoting the sub-discipline of visual anthropology, which is concerned with studying cultures through photography, film and other media.Spending his entire career at Oxford University, from the late 1980s onwards Marcus...

Families bereaved by Covid say UK plan to allow Christmas mixing is ‘sheer madness’

Support group warns that large gatherings are too risky and calls for low-key festive period Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople bereaved by Covid-19 have warned that allowing families in the UK to get together over Christmas is “sheer madness” and urged the public to have a low-key festive period rather than risk the...

Chelmsford doctors trying to 'rewrite history' lose defamation case against publisher

Judge says John Gill and John Herron sought to use HarperCollins case to ‘vindicate their conduct’ despite overwhelming evidence to contrary at royal commission Two doctors from Sydney’s Chelmsford private hospital, where some patients underwent “deep sleep therapy” to the point of death, have had their defamation case against a book publisher thrown...

Is it a bird? Is it a bee? No, it's a lizard pollinating South Africa's 'hidden flower'

How a chance encounter with a ‘weird plant’ in the Drakensberg mountains led to a startling discoveryTowards the end of 2017, PhD candidate Ruth Cozien and her husband Dr Timo van der Niet were attending a citizen science workshop high up in South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains when they stumbled across “this weird plant with green flowers hidden beneath...

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