In this commentary we provide a selective overview of the kinds of insights that a sociology of expertise can provide in better articulating the stakes of current politico-epistemic conflicts catalysed by COVID-19. In doing so, we argue that one of the ways that sociology can fruitfully engage with the pre-, intra- and post-pandemic societal responses is through its distinctive perspective on expertise. To exemplify the potential of this perspective, we present three dimensions of the pandemic that a sociology of expertise opens up avenues for exploring: (a) the formation of expert publics; (b) transnational expert dynamics; and (c) expert moral authority. Together these three dimensions show how expertise constitutes a crucial nexus for understanding how contemporary societies respond to global crises.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online October 7, 2020.
- Expert publics