PANDA's evolution has been quite a ride. We started informally and “on the fly”, with a focus on pushing against South Africa’s lockdown. That quickly spawned questioning of the premise of the perceived crisis and the broad international policy response, and our rapid growth into a truly international group.
Along the way, many questions have turned into explanations, but it is always the case that new explanations reveal fresh questions. As the epidemiological and medical explanations become richer, it is natural that attention should turn to the context of the pandemic. While our focus is shifting to reflect that, our Open Science approach—of fluid engagement and continual conjecture and criticism—is not.
There is no bright line between the domains of science and society. Good explanations bring us closer to the truth—or more precisely, to reality—in all areas of knowledge. The cultural and political phenomena that describe the root causes of the Covid policy crisis may interact in very complex ways, but they should not prevent us from improving on received explanations, which more often than not are the product of propaganda intended to mislead. We can all perceive some of the entities, memes and agendas behind this propaganda, but a coherent evaluation is required in order to know what to do about them.
Our aim is to be a leading sense-making organisation, provoking activists around the world to base their strategies on sound knowledge.
You are invited to join us on the journey.