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Renato Gomes Carvalho

Vaccine, science and freedom

A little over a year ago, we were starting to feel the first major impacts of the pandemic. After weeks of doubts and doubts about the new Corona virus identified in Wuhan, the emergence of cases and the escalation of the situation led to the first confinement and everything we already know happened.

However, about 10 months after the start of the epidemic, we got the first vaccinations that were vaccinated by millions of people, in a process that will lead us to control the epidemic and a gradual return to some normalcy. We are aware of the ordeals that have occurred in the distribution processes and in the scientific and political celebrations surrounding some decisions. But the basic question remains: Even a year before the start of the epidemic, and through the scientific process and political support, humanity had already devised a vaccine, and the positive results of these vaccines have already been observed, with this week being marked, the end of the emergency.

In addition to the practical result of solving a problem in this dimension, the vaccine, and above all the process of developing vaccines, sheds light on the role of science and scientific thinking in our lives, as opposed to obscurantism, magical thinking and beliefs.

When it comes to science, many people stereotype an individual with strange properties of the experience, or a combination of devices and technologies. But what is confirmed by the current reality and the emergence of the vaccine is the value of science, not in the logic of the rampant succession of tools or technological innovations, but above all in the scientific process, in testing hypotheses, in the modesty of correction. Theses in the face of new data. To evaluate practices, openly discuss ideas, and make decisions based on data rather than beliefs, in a process in which what is powerful is the evidence presented rather than the one providing it.

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In a world often characterized by denial, false therapies, magical thinking, conspiracy theories, and the creation of “alternative facts” and narratives that protect and reject any data that contradicts them, the success and administration of a vaccine is free. Reasoning, the way we face the world, the principle of refutation, and the possibility of testing, correcting and correcting hypotheses. Especially since literacy and scientific thinking do not just mean knowing facts or having a lot of data; It corresponds to the way we view the world.

It is precisely this thinking that underpins the scientific process has unquestionable value in the advancement of society, support for decision-making in public policies and our quality of life, including now in the perspective of resolving the epidemic. Because, as Carlos Violhaes points out, if science is essential to exit from the crisis but we do not just come out of the crisis with knowledge, then free thinking and humanity must appreciate it above all. This is what gave us the vaccine and this is what will bring us forward. In a month when freedom is celebrated, this is always something worth remembering. Whether or not we need a vaccine.