Sun, 18 Oct 2020 05:31:08 +0000
The "H" word
Noun: heterogeneity. Definition: “the quality or state of being diverse in character or content.”
Viruses, bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, and eco-systems all display heterogeneity in one way or another, and of course, so too do human beings; different appearances, behaviours, preferences, and socio-economic circumstances for instance.
To completely ignore heterogeneity is to ignore reality.
In urban planning, this can mean ignoring choice, for example, decision-making based on the long-standing assumption that everyone aspires to live in a suburban or quasi-suburban setting with a car-dominated way of life.
In economics, this can mean developing decentralisation policies that ignore the inherent productivity (and upward socio-economic mobility) benefits of large, densely populated urban areas. In law, this can mean drafting legislation that ignores chronic socio-economic inequality, and imposes huge financial penalties, some of which can consume a full week’s worth of income for minimum wage workers, for minor infractions.
What about public health?
Dr Gabriela Gomes, a mathematician, professor and researcher at the University of Strathclyde, has been modeling the covid19 pandemic in many countries around t