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What awaits us after the pandemic?

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, apart from the medical staff, scientists have found themselves in the centre of everyone’s attention. Both these sectors, underfinanced in Poland for years, do all in their powers to get the country through the pandemic at a possibly lowest cost. What will happen with health care and science once the pandemic in over? Will both these sectors remain under chronic financial collapse?


Since the outbreak of the epidemic in Europe, the Polish Academy of Sciences has been engaged both in monitoring and informing the society about the progress of COVID-19 epidemic (latest updates from PAS). On our website we publish the articles of the most outstanding and recognised experts about, among others, the biology of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the ways to protect human immune system or how to wear a mask and keep the adequate distance from others.

The institutes of the PAS perform numerous diagnostic tests, in this group: the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, the Institute of Human Genetics and the Institute of Medical Biology can be listed. We currently carry out several thousand tests a day. Also, the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry invented the so-called Polish test for COVID-19. It is produced in Poland using Polish reagents, therefore it is easily accessible and much cheaper.

The PAS Institute of Biocybernetics and Biomedical Engineering invented a device allowing to ventilate two patients using a single respirator. M. Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology of the PAS and a mathematician from the University of Warsaw elaborated a method of group testing for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus. We hope that it will be helpful for making quick tests for medical staff, as well as for the residents and personnel of social assistance centres. The PAS Space Research Centre has also been engaged in the fight against the coronavirus. The Centre participates in an international project – HERoS – the aim of which is to improve our response to a pandemic and stop the spread of epidemic-related misinformation. While the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology and the Institute of Rural and Agricultural Research monitor changes the pandemic is having on social and economic life, the social psychologists from the Institute of Psychology study how various kinds of psychological threats, including a sense of uncertainty and lack of control, may impact societies. 

Apart from dissemination, diagnostic and research activities, we conduct discussions with our foreign partners. While the majority of countries close their boarders, science has widely opened itself for international cooperation. In science there are no boarders or nationalities. What matters is how fast we are able to exchange information, get access to databases, carry out clinic tests. The race in science continues, but it is rather a race against time, than a typical scientific competition. What will happen when the pandemic is over? We will cherish the sense of solidarity, when in these difficult moments scientists have fully and openly shared with each other their data and experience.

Source of information: Polish Academy of Sciences