COVID-19 and the academy: opinions and experiences of university-based scientists in the U.S.

Timothy P. Johnson, Mary K. Feeney, Heyjie Jung, Ashlee Frandell, Mattia Caldarulo, Lesley Michalegko, Shaika Islam, Eric W. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Much of the available evidence regarding COVID-19 effects on the scientific community in the U.S. is anecdotal and non-representative. We report findings from a based survey of university-based biologists, biochemists, and civil and environmental engineers regarding negative and positive COVID-19 impacts, respondent contributions to addressing the pandemic, and their opinions regarding COVID-19 research policies. The most common negative impact was university closures, cited by 93% of all scientists. Significant subgroup differences emerged, with higher proportions of women, assistant professors, and scientists at institutions located in COVID-19 “hotspot” counties reporting difficulties concentrating on research. Assistant professors additionally reported facing more unanticipated childcare responsibilities. Approximately half of the sample also reported one or more positive COVID-19 impacts, suggesting the importance of developing a better understanding of the complete range of impacts across all fields of science. Regarding COVID-19 relevant public policy, findings suggest divergence of opinion concerning surveillance technologies and the need to alter federal approval processes for new tests and vaccines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number146
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Communications
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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