Carnegie Mellon University
April 30, 2020

Dewitt and Fischhoff publish op-ed in The Ottawa Citizen

Baruch Fischhoff, a professor in EPP, and Barry Dewitt, a post-doctoral fellow in EPP, wrote an op-ed in The Ottawa Citizen about making policy recommendations when evidence is uncertain and changing.

Dewitt and Fischhoff say that there’s been confusion and criticism about wearing masks in public. At first, depending on where you lived, you were told it wasn’t a good idea but within a few weeks, governments began telling us that, actually, we might consider wearing a cloth mask in order to protect ourselves and those around us. People criticized that as an about-face, saying it undermined trust in leaders and that the recommendation should have been made weeks ago.

They go onto say that new studies arrive around the clock and sometimes, enough evidence accumulates to refine or even reverse a recommendation. 

"All that we can ask is that officials make the best decisions that they can, based on what is known at the time. We should hope that our officials do not make stronger recommendations than the evidence warrants and that they are ready to change them when the evidence shifts."

To read the full article go here.