Speak out, then get shut down

Of 321 scientists asked by Nature magazine, 15% said they had received death threats and 22% had been threatened with physical or sexual violence as a result of talking publicly about the pandemic.

Two-thirds said they had had a negative experience after appearing in the media.

Scientists disclosed how they had been left distressed and scared and in some cases stopped sharing their views publicly after experiencing harassment and intimidation.

Some scientists who were harassed told nature they no longer appear in the media to discuss Covid issues.

It appears harassment comes from all sides, whether the scientist is for or against vaccines, or pro alternatives such as ivermectin etc.

Fiona Fox, the director of the UK science media centre, said: “It’s a great loss of a scientist who was engaging with the media, sharing their expertise, is taken out of a public debate at a time when we’ve never needed them so badly.”

What this highlights is that the debate has become tribal. One has to ask how did that happen, and what can we do to rectify it?