Role of scientific advice in covid-19 policy

Key message

Governments claimed to be following scientific advice during the pandemic to legitimise decisions

Advice should be autonomous to ensure that governments do not simply seek advice that aligns with what they want to hear

Transparency is also essential to know who gave the advice and what the government did with it

The UK’s advice system was not autonomous, being designed to answer questions posed by government with advisers appointed by government

The system became more transparent as a result of political pressure