It’s three years on, and COVID-19 continues to affect all our lives - our health, our work, our education and our home life in the UK and around the world. Up to 10,000 people continue to watch Independent SAGE sessions each week, and we receive many messages following our sessions asking us to continue our work.
The continued demand for open scientific advice and interest in engaging with science and its implications for policy and practice from the UK public has convinced us to continue. We are one of the few remaining sources of regular, detailed analysis of what is happening with respect to COVID-19, its impact on the NHS, employment, and people’s health, underpinned by the latest research. Quite simply, Independent SAGE is continuing because the pandemic is continuing.
Since our first meeting on May 4 2020, Independent SAGE has produced more than 50 reports and statements, hosted multiple public engagement events, and published extensively in the scientific, clinical, and mainstream media. We have held more than 140 public briefings, hosting independent experts and answering questions directly from the public, journalists and broadcasters across a diverse range of topics
All the Independent SAGE scientists give their time for free, including the Friday briefing sessions and other activities described above. ‘Citizens’ as a key partner has done a wonderful job of supporting us with the broadcasts and publicising our work.
Up till now our briefings have been held on a weekly basis, but we now need to move to fortnightly. We don’t want to leave you in the lurch, and we promise each fortnight to bring you a great session. However, we just need to space out the schedule a little as we also have to focus on other academic and research commitments. This also reduces costs, of course.
Current funds from previous donations, including from our 2022 crowdfunding drive are running out, so we are now launching a fresh appeal. This will support Citizens to conduct the live streams (YouTube, Twitter), continue website maintenance and manage twitter accounts.
We know that money is tight for many right now, but if you feel able, and if you would like Independent SAGE to continue this year, please consider donating and sending this appeal to others who value our work.