Pandemic Virus Trace Application for the Effective Knowledge Transfer Between Science and Society …
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially changed their classification of the coronavirus disease COVID-19 from a public health emergency of international concern to a pandemic (WHO, 2020). Today the COVID-19 pandemic still dominates worldwide the societal everyday life with high impact on economy and education. Although there are several vaccines on the market and the vaccination phase started, it is expected that the pandemic situation will continue at least until the end of 2021. However, the PandeVITA project is based on the hypothesis that the COVID-19 pandemic is distance of time between pandemics will become shorter.
In the last ten years, the information needs of the society increased exponentially. The last influenza pandemic, H1N1/09 Flu Pandemic (so-called “Swine Flu”), happened in 2009/2010. Social media already started dominating the media-based communication, but at that time the penetration of the society with smartphones were just at the beginning. Since then online communication went increasingly mobile and consequently, the information need of the society increases accordingly. This causes pressure on all systems of The Quadruple Helix: Science, media and culture-based Public, Politics and Economy.
… and Politics and Economy: The Quadruple Helix
The concept of PandeVITA enables knowledge transfer between society and science inside of the quadruple helix on the European level.
PandeVITA will establish a platform which enables citizens to contribute to scientific knowledge with pandemic relevance, e.g. with help of collecting data about mobility and communication habits. In return, the scientific community and politics will be enabled to give more specific advices and recommendations to the public. It will shed light on the understanding about the potential willingness of providing personal data for scientific research in relation to the perceived value of recommendation and feedbacks from science to the society. It will create new knowledge about types of information needs of the society in times of pandemic crisis. Additionally, it facilitates the design of more specific measures within the scope of medical crisis management. Consequently, the new knowledge improves the innovation and decision processes in collaboration with stakeholders from economy and politics.
The PandeVITA consortium regards the development of measures to combat pandemic crises as innovation processes which includes the knowledge of the media- and culture-based public. The understanding of societal behaviors, such as mobility, acceptance of personal data gathering in time of crisis, psychological consequences of lockdowns., scientific results, such as nature, distribution, activities and impact of the virus, economic developments, for instance during the process of vaccine development and production, as well as political measures, such as lockdowns, cancellation of public life and educational activities, needs the exchange of knowledge and data through all systems four systems.
Impacts of pandemics on the systems of the quadruple helix
Impact on Science
In times of pandemic crises, scientists are forced to collect knowledge about state-of-the-art science related with the pandemic in a very short time. The expectations of politics, economy and public is very high. They have to produce scientific results under the pressure of journals, media public, political decision makers and economic innovation developers. At the same time, they are confronted with an information need of all systems of the quadruple helix caused by the media activities a plenty of channels in the virtual space. As a consequence, the information needs are higher than the speed of scientific developments. PandeVITA will develop an application which supports the scientific exchange of information between science and society and increase the efficiency of the co-operation process with help of better understanding of societal behavior in pandemic situations. Based on the research activities, especially within the scope of WP 2, 3 and 5, PandeVITA will build and facilitate the co-operation between science and society in the context of data and knowledge exchange.
Impact on the media- and culture-based Public
During the first wave of the COVID-19 crisis, the society is confronted with new challenges, situations, worries and uncertainties in an existential way. They are afraid of getting infected, their future situation of employment, the economical developments, the continuity of the educational situation and many more aspects of the everyday life. This causes information needs and as a consequence thereof a thread of misunderstanding. The research activities of PandeVITA contributes to a better understanding about the circumstances and motives for engaging in science-related activities and how a digital platform can lead to new forms of science-based advocacy in pandemic crises.
Impact on Economy
The PandeVITA research activities will relieve the economy though enabling more effective measures of the politics. An efficient co-operation of science and society will shorten the times of lockdowns which reliefs healthcare sector, business, investments, transport sector, travel sector. The efficient co-operation of science and society will be possible through a better understanding how societal actors behave, understand, react to and interact with science and health developments in the context of pandemics. It will improve evidence-based predictions and knowledge-based decision processes in collaboration of science, politics, economy and society (quadruple helix) in periods of crisis considering RRI criteria.
Impact on Politics
The politics have to decide about lockdowns, financial support of research activities and economical sectors, as well as communication strategies in a very short time based of given information almost by scientific experts. PandeVITA will contribute on the knowledge about the impact of restrictions and cancellations of public life on the economy, society and science. PandeVITA will contribute to a management model for future crises other than pandemics.
All systems need the knowledge of the other systems for their specific innovation and knowledge production processes in order to be able to act in line with each other. In return, they have to provide their knowledge to the other systems as well.