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Des récits politiques multiples, nourris des incertitudes scientifiques

Abstract : Pandemics reveal both the extent and the limits of our scientific knowledge. In a way, the current health crisis is difficult to compare with the pandemics of previous centuries—the cholera pandemic or the “Spanish flu” pandemic—because of the enormous progress in medicine and the gap between past and present expertise. But today, as yesterday, disease spreads faster than knowledge, even when knowledge is stimulated by an emergency situation. Faced with the third coronavirus pandemic in less than twenty years (SARS-CoV in 2003, MERS-CoV in 2012, and now SARS-CoV-2 or Covid-19), the search for a vaccine has resumed but remains hypothetical. In the absence of a definitive means of eradicating the disease or at least slowing it down, as AIDS-repelling triple therapy does, uncertainties are mounting. The fundamental questions—about how best to prevent and to cure the disease—refer to other questions about the nature of the virus, its mobility, its resilience, its possible evolution. All these uncertainties open up areas of doubt, but also controversy and fantasies that form broad “wastelands” where superstitions, rumours, and “fake news” have proliferated, in the present as in the past. But these wastelands are also, in part, the backdrop for many political narratives. They are produced by various actors—national governments, opinion groups, international organisations—out of both necessity and opportunity. In the chaos brought about by the surge of COVID-19, where what we know is mixed with what we do not know, three narrative phenomena have emerged: diverse and more or less discordant national narratives, narrative battles on an international scale, narratives and counter-narratives of globalisation...
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Submitted on : Sunday, February 13, 2022 - 4:35:09 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 14, 2022 - 3:53:12 AM

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Karoline Postel Vinay. Des récits politiques multiples, nourris des incertitudes scientifiques. Les Dossiers du CERI, CERI, 2020. ⟨hal-03570769⟩

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