Following the science? Covid-19, ‘race’ and the politics of knowing

Clarke, John (2021). Following the science? Covid-19, ‘race’ and the politics of knowing. Cultural Studies, 35(2-3) pp. 248–256.



The UK government has consistently claimed to be ‘following the science’ in its approach to the pandemic but this claim conceals complex and shifting entanglements of politics and science. The instability of the relationship between politics and science became increasingly visible around the unequal vulnerability of racialized minorities to infection and death from Covid-19. How and when Black and other minoritized deaths matter has become the focus of UK governmental efforts to delay and deflect, in what has been claimed to be the ‘best country in the world to be a black person’. Rather than the rule of Science, what the pandemic reveals are the conjunctural contested articulations of science(s) and politics.

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