Difficult trade-offs therefore need to be made, and this is where things can be deadly controversial—pun intended—when lives and livelihoods are involved, especially on a massive scale. As Leonelli asks, “What are the priorities underpinning alternative construals of ‘life with covid’? … Whose advice should be followed, whose interests should be most closely protected, which losses are acceptable and which are not?” Such questions clearly cannot (and should not) be answered by data science or data scientists alone, but the data science community has both the ability and responsibility to establish scientific and persuasive evidence to help to reach sustainable compromises that are critical for maintaining a healthy human ecosystem.
Author: Xiao-Li Meng
Publication Date: 29 January 2021
Publication Site: Harvard Data Science Review