Keele researcher provides vital public information in the fight against Covid-19

Keele University has played a key role in contributing scientific research for the newly formed ‘Coronavirus: The Science Explained’ website, launched by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The website is set to provide the most authoritative scientific information available on the constantly evolving Coronavirus outbreak. It allows public access to up-to-date scientific information on the evidence and facts about the virus and its control. The website hosts a number of short articles, written by leading scientists – many of whom are currently advising the government as part of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) committee on its approach to tackling the pandemic, including Keele’s Professor Clifford Stott.

Professor Stott has contributed to an article titled “The truth about panic”, highlighting the research into people’s reactions to emergencies like the coronavirus pandemic and how this can be managed.

Professor Stott said: “Working with SAGE has been a really useful platform to help translate our UKRI funded research into meaningful policy advice. Early in the crisis excessive demand on supermarkets was seen as the outcome of mass panic. Our work through partnership with UKRI was able to disrupt this understanding and help policy makers and media understand that different factors were at work. The UKRI funded research at Keele has gone on to provide important policy advice on policing and we continue to generate new data and analysis that we hope will further assist UK society to adapt and adjust in ways that minimise harms.”

UKRI Chief Executive, Sir Mark Walport added: “Throughout this crisis it’s vital that people have access to up-to-date scientific information and evidence. The Coronavirus: The Science Explained website is uniquely positioned to provide the latest science behind coronavirus in accessible language, offering a trusted and impartial resource to anyone who needs it. We are enormously grateful to the experts from Keele University who have contributed to this endeavour.”