Research + Perspectives for the Pandemic
from the MIT SHASS community
Navigating an Unprecedented Time
This portal provides research and commentaries from the MIT SHASS community to inform policy and increase public understanding of the pandemic landscape. Content areas include impacts of the pandemic on healthcare, the economy, education, elections, daily life, and democracy. There is also a channel of creative works that offer contemplative space and uplift.
To see a list of all external media publications on one page, visit:
For additional Institute resources, visit:
To suggest new content, contact:
Revolving selections from the categories above.
Webinar Series | History of Now: Plagues & Pandemics
In the spring of 2020, as people around the world confronted the daily reality of the Covid-19 pandemic, many wondered how previous generations navigated similar crises. At MIT, an interdisciplinary team of humanistic faculty explored this question in a course that broke ground as a live, free MIT class, held in an open public webinar format so that anyone who wanted to attend could do so, from anywhere in the world.
MIT SHASS MEDIA PUBLICATIONS
At-A-Glance | List of external media publications
Research-based insights, for policy and public understanding of the Covid-19 pandemic, from the MIT-SHASS academic community
MIT INFORMATION + RESOURCES
Adapting to Covid. Staying Connected. Together, we’re committed to tackling Covid-19 the MIT way – by standing with the science, working the problem, and modeling the solution for our community and beyond. Our minds, hands, and hearts can make a difference.
15 August 2020
Which way of casting a ballot is best for you this year? Latest news and research on the 2020 election administration.
The non-partisan MIT Election Lab conducts research and collaborates with other election experts and administrators across the country to help make voting in the U.S. safe, secure, trustworthy, and effective.
13 August 2020
The Stanford-MIT Project on a Healthy Election
This project addresses the unprecedented and ongoing threat that the Covid-19 pandemic poses to the 2020 elections, bringing academics and election administration experts together to assess and promote best practices to ensure the election can proceed with integrity, safety, and equal access.
COVID-19 Research Working Papers from MIT Economics
As research continues into Covid-19 and its impact on many facets of life, MIT Economics has collected all the faculty's working papers on one page.
Conditions needed to reopen the U.S. economy
Here’s what economists say the U.S. needs in order to start returning to normal amid the coronavirus outbreak — and how the economy can survive in the meantime.
Europe has kept down pandemic unemployment — and the U.S. hasn’t. Here’s why.
Kathleen Thelen, Ford Professor of Political Science, examines disparities in US and European unemployment rates in the face of Covid-19
EDUCATION + DAILY LIFE
Faculty Reflections | Anne McCants, Professor of History
An ongoing series of notes from the Director of the MIT Concourse Program for her students and others during the pandemic
EDUCATION | SCIENCE WRITERS
Undark magazine | Covid-19 coverage
Undark, the acclaimed magazine from our Knight Science Journalism Program, provides ongoing, in-depth journalistic coverage by science writers on SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.
3Q with Charles Stewart III: How to make the November 2020 elections safe and secure
MIT-SHASS News "Will the November 2020 election be delayed? The answer is, 'no.' There is no statutory or constitutional authority to do that. Even if the asteroids are raining on our heads and the zombies are roaming the streets on November 3, we will be voting."
Arts from Anywhere
During this time of physical distancing to limit the spread of Covid-19, the Arts at MIT offer ways to stay connected to the MIT Arts Community from wherever you are.
The Listening Room
A curated collection of outstanding works from MIT's Music Program
An ode to the humble balcony
In The New York Times, Bernardo Zacka writes: "[A balcony] is private, yet public; exposed, yet secluded. It offers company without the demands of intimacy, and we should never take it for granted again."
The biggest distance-learning experiment in history
On NPR's All Things Considered, Justin Reich, CMS/W Assistant Professor, and director of the MIT Teaching Systems Lab reflects on best practices for remote learning. Plus a link to collection of all Reich's recent public commentaries.
HEALTH + ECONOMIC IMPACTS | TELEMEDICINE
3Q: A doctor’s view from the front lines
SHASS News: Physician and MIT economist Jeffrey E. Harris shares insights on healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic and the vital role of telehealth.
HEALTHCARE + ECONOMIC IMPACTS
J-PAL's response to Covid-19
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) has organized an ongoing, evolving response to the Covid-19 pandemic. See initiatives for off-cycle funding rounds for Covid-related research projects.
3Q with political scientist Adam Berinsky
Impact of the pandemic on U.S. political life
"As they do in wartime "people are willing to give the government broader latitude, even to curtail civil liberties, to address this pandemic crisis. But this effect is also short-lived. People are willing to give up some civil liberties for months, but not years."
The virus is a reminder of something lost long ago
In The Atlantic, MIT Professor of Writing Alan Lightman observes that the pandemic may force "many of us to slow down, to spend more time in reflection, away from the noise and heave of the world. With more quiet time, we have an opportunity to think about who we are, as individuals and as a society."
HEALTH | VIRUS ORIGINS
KSJ alumna reports on how China’s “Bat Woman” hunted down viruses from SARS to the new Coronavirus
In Scientific American, Wuhan-based virologist and KSJ alumna Shi Zhengli has identified dozens of deadly SARS-like viruses in bat caves, and she warns there are more out there
"Many studies have shown that laughter and humor have a huge array of benefits, including strengthening the immune system, reducing pain and stress, and increasing energy. If you are going through a difficult experience or feeling down, humor may accidently find you. Embrace it."