This document gives broad outlines of the main response of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis. The description of the many measures undertaken in regards to research, solidarity and communication can be downloaded here.
COVID-19: Latest science news
This is our regularly-updated COVID-19 newsfeed where you will find the latest research results and pandemic-related scientific information in English. More content is available on the French version of this page.
May 6, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Coronavirus Research at a Glance" The Paris-based ISC-PIF Institute has published a series of maps generated from automated analysis of all scientific publications devoted to Covid-19.
- May 5, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Research Ethics in a Health Crisis" Are ethics and scientific integrity a luxury that can be foregone in a situation as critical as the current pandemic? Jean-Gabriel Ganascia, the chairman of the CNRS Ethics Committee (COMETS), addresses the question in this analysis.
- May 4, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Graphs to Help plan Deconfinement?" The computer scientist Claire Mathieu explains how graph theory can help model the propagation of Covid-19, and assess the relevance of several confinement scenarios.
- April 27, 2020: CNRSnews article: “Humanity has always lived with viruses" From the black plague to the Spanish flu, Ebola and now Covid-19, our societies have weathered a number of severe health crises, as historian Anne Rasmussen recounts.
- April 20, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Could Covid-19 Affect Public Trust in Science?" Public trust seems to be stronger than ever, but the relations between science and society are much more complex than they seem.
- April 19, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Digital Technology Becomes Central to Life in Confinement" As some of us telework, study or entertain ourselves under confinement, digital technology is coming under increased scrutiny.
- April 15, 2020: CNRSnews article: "The Covid-19 Epidemic Highlights the Need to Think of Others" How does cognitive bias influences people’s behaviour – both in everyday life and during the coronavirus crisis?
April 10, 2020: Press release: "COVID-19: clinical trial launched for a rapid saliva-based screening test" A French consortium consisting of scientists from the CNRS laboratory Sys2Diag, the SkillCell biotechnology company and Montpellier University Hospital (CHU de Montpellier) have announced the launch of a clinical trial to evaluate the performance of the new EasyCov screening test beginning on 11 April 2020. In parallel, the development, production, and distribution chain is organizing for the rapid and mass deployment of the test to medical personnel in May.
April 10, 2020: Press release: "Covid-19: launch of an international survey on the loss of smell and taste" Many patients with Covid-19 experience a loss of taste (ageusia) and/or smell (anosmia). More than 500 researchers from 38 countries have therefore joined forces to study this phenomenon within the Global Consortium for Chemosensory Research (GCCR).
April 9, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Uncertainty is Intrinsic to the Human Condition" The coronavirus epidemic ought to improve our understanding of science and teach us how to live with uncertainty, ultimately recovering a form of humanism, says French philosopher Edgar Morin.
- April 8, 2020: CNRSnews article: "CNRS Labs: Research Under Lockdown" Virtually all of the 1,100 CNRS labs closed their doors mid- March, finding solutions to allow their personnel to work from home. Except for those conducting research on Covid-19, which continue to operate full-time.
- April 2, 2020: Press release: "Health and environmental crises: a CNRS- Inserm joint initiative" The CNRS and Inserm, in association with the CPU, INED, INRAE and IRD, under the umbrella of ATHENA and AVIESAN, are joining forces to raise key scientific questions on health and environmental crises and combine the initiatives of the humanities, social sciences and public health research communities arising from the current COVID-19 crisis.
- April 1, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Protective Mask Recycling Offers Promise" To offset the shortage of protective equipment, scientists, physicians and manufacturers are working together to explore ways to safely reuse FFP2 face masks.
- March 25, 2020: CNRSnews article: “Making Decisions is not a Scientist’s Job” Rarely have scientists been so sollicited and praised by journalists and politicians, who seek their support in confronting the current COVID-19 crisis. A consensus to be viewed with caution, warns a sociologist and communication specialist.
- March 24, 2020: CNRSnews article: "COVID-19: How Are Epidemic Models Designed?" During the COVID-19 crisis, citizens are anxiously awaiting and scrutinising the latest prediction models. But how are these simulations designed, and how accurate are they?
- March 19, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Delaying the Epidemic to Help the System Adapt" Interview with Josselin Thuilliez, a health economist, on coronavirus. This CNRS scientist works on epidemics and their impact on individual behaviours, healthcare systems and control policies. He is a member of REACTing, a consortium set up to coordinate research on emerging outbreaks.
- March 18, 2020: CNRSnews article: "Basic Science is the Best Protection Against Epidemics" At best, we need 18 months to create a vaccine, and years to produce a new drug. Repositioning has the advantage of being much more immediate," explains a specialist in the replication of RNA viruses.