UO researchers are providing expertise on new coronavirus

Laptop open to news website

From the New York Times to the Washington Post, University of Oregon researchers have been at the forefront of media coverage around COVID-19 as journalists seek out experts on the national and world response, reaction and preparation for the virus.

Psychology professor Paul Slovic talked to The New York Times about the concern around the new coronavirus and why people are reacting so strongly. The story was republished in hundreds of media outlets around the country and world.

Scientists at the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have encouraged people to stop touching their faces to prevent spreading the COVID-19 disease. Elliot Berkman, also a psychology professor, used his research around habit-forming to provide tips on what people can do to break that habit. The story ran in the Washington Post.

On the financial side, Bloomberg featured an article by economist Tim Duy that looked at the effect of proposed interest rate cuts during the crisis. Duy’s expertise on the subject is also featured in The New York Times and CBS News.

Several UO experts shared their expertise in pieces in The Conversation, an academic media site where scholars share research-based commentary on timely topics.

Michelle Sconce Massaquoi, a doctoral candidate in microbiology, explained why handwashing is as important as doctors say. Since the story went live on March 3, it’s been read more than 21,000 times and has been picked up by at least 40 publishers, including Gizmodo, the Associated Press, The Quint and the New Zealand Herald.

Ellen Peters, director of the Center for Science Communication and Research, wrote about her new research on who Americans trust in times of a public health crisis. That story was republished in dozens of media outlets around the world, including Yahoo! The Paris Guardian and the Toronto Telegrah.

UO law professor Liz Tippett addressed a question on many people’s minds: Will sick leave protect me if I get ill from coronavirus?

Are you a faculty member or a doctoral student who has research or expertise that can be used to explain coronavirus? If so, email UO media relations manager Molly Blancett at blancett@uoregon.edu.

For more information about The Conversation, visit the UO’s Media Relations website.