The New Yorker: Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not

The New Yorker: Seattle’s Leaders Let Scientists Take the Lead. New York’s Did Not. “Epidemiology is a science of possibilities and persuasion, not of certainties or hard proof. ‘Being approximately right most of the time is better than being precisely right occasionally,’ the Scottish epidemiologist John Cowden wrote, in 2010. ‘You can only be sure when to act in retrospect.’ Epidemiologists must persuade people to upend their lives—to forgo travel and socializing, to submit themselves to blood draws and immunization shots—even when there’s scant evidence that they’re directly at risk. Epidemiologists also must learn how to maintain their persuasiveness even as their advice shifts. ”