Part III: Biosocial Humans

This book centres on questions about being human that are raised by the current pandemic and addresses these through a series of short, accessible, and thought-provoking essays that range across disciplinary boundaries. The COVID-19 crisis poses massive challenges for citizens, businesses, policymakers and professionals around the globe. The pandemic has highlighted the deep divisions and inequalities that already existed, while at the same time opening up new fissures and fractures in society. However, the crisis also presents an opportunity to fundamentally rethink many aspects of social, cultural, and economic life. Three key issues have emerged in this context that are fundamentally concerned with the experience, meaning, and understanding of being human. These are at the core of this collection. Firstly, the marginalization of many groups of people, most notably members of Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, disabled, young, older, and displaced people and how they are de/valued in the response to the virus. Secondly, the role of new scientific knowledge in these processes of inclusion and exclusion. Little attention has so far been paid to the central role of science in shaping our understanding and experience of the pandemic. Thirdly, the remaking and reordering of society as a result of the pandemic and the opening up of new futures for work, the environment, culture, and daily life. Consideration of how we might better make the future are still missing from public discussion of the post-COVID-19 world. In addressing these critical issues this collection makes a valuable contribution to one of the most pressing issues of our time.

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