In DepthVoices of the Pandemic

Speaking science to power

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Science  11 Sep 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6509, pp. 1282-1283
DOI: 10.1126/science.369.6509.1282

Summary

Just a few years out of graduate school, Caitlin Rivers has become a leading voice during the pandemic. A disease modeling expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Rivers has testified before Congress, advised local health officials, commented in the media, and maintained an active presence on Twitter, where she provides a level-headed, science-based perspective for her 140,000 followers. Policymakers haven't always heeded her advice—such as developing a national plan to eliminate test shortages and anticipate bottlenecks in the supply of reagents and materials. But Rivers hopes the pandemic will provide an opportunity to revive a proposal she helped lead several years ago to create a National Infectious Disease Forecasting Center, which would put a coordinated team of epidemic modeling experts inside the government.

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