Reflection on the Covid19 modelling process in Nature

With a particular focus on the development and role of the Imperial/Ferguson model.

…to understand the value of COVID-19 models, it’s crucial to know how they are made and the assumptions on which they are built. “We’re building simplified representations of reality. Models are not crystal balls,” Ferguson says.

A later snippet from the same article:

Ferguson told Nature in 2005 that collecting detailed data on Thailand’s population was harder than writing the programming code for the model. That code was not released when his team’s projections on the coronavirus pandemic were first made public, but the team is working with Microsoft to tidy up the code and make it available, Ferguson says.

If only Nature had forced Ferguson to tidy up, comment, document and publically archive his code as a condition of publication, many other researchers would have been in a position to check it, re-use it and extend this when the crisis hit!

Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01003-6

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