Living through the Covid-19 pandemic, many have seen a number of ethical, legal, and social issues arise as a result of the virus rapidly spreading worldwide. This timely special issue is designed to be a mid-stream retrospective: look at presenting a broad array of topics at the intersection of science and society, from a range of researchers, in many different fields, in light of what we have learned so far. The issues that have arisen are both as a direct result of the virus itself, whereas others arose as a result of various responses to the virus.
Like the virus itself, the issues that the pandemic raises are moving targets with factors and conditions changing over time, often due to unprecedented necessity. Hollywood and some percipient billionaires have been predicting this event for some time, and some of the issues that we are now facing have been raised before, but not taken seriously enough. Even with their foresight, we were far from ready for the many ethical, legal, and social concerns that have arisen.
The question is, when is the next event like this, and will we be ready for that one. Especially pertinent is what we have learned from this experience, both good and bad.
This issue will collect papers from those who would like to make sure that we are ready, or at least trying to get there.
The aim of this topic is to summarize the ethical information related to triage, contact tracing, quarantine measures, international law changes as we are going through coronavirus pandemic, and to reassess what we have seen thus far in light of this new knowledge.
We welcome, amongst the others, original research articles, reviews, and commentaries on ethical, legal, and social implications of :
1. Massive genomic screening and data privacy during a pandemic
2. Biobanking access and data privacy
3. Contact tracing and geolocalisation
4. Patients triage and prioritization
5. Quarantine measures
6. Drug and vaccine development during pandemics
7. Mitigation measures such as full and partial closures
8. Pandemic infrastructure and it usefulness post-pandemic
9. Distance learning, especially in the biosciences