COVID-19: Virologist urges scientific proof for discoveries

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By Blessing Odega
Jos, Aug. 3, 2020 Dr Solomon Chollom, a Virologist and medical laboratory scientist, on Monday urged scientists to always embrace appropriate scientific communication as key to eliminating the various controversies, especially around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chollom in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Jos called on scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic.

He said that the current spate of controversies and conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus were either manufactured or circulated by people who were not core medical scientists.

He decried the way some medical scientists neglected the proper culture of scientific communication and adopted other means of forcing their claims on the public.

“Scientist should endeavour to present clear scientific data to appropriate approving authorities to verify their claims and to pass an objective verdict.

“Appropriate scientific communication is done through scientific publications, which may either be full length research papers, case reports or even short communication.

“Evidences or claims should be presented in a documented manner through scientifically approved journals or editorials, and the scientific community must read and perform systematic reviews or meta-analysis of the data generated,” he said.

The scientist noted that unfortunately there was an upsurge in verbal, emotional, confrontational and near political crusades by some medical scientists who had either resorted to the use of social media platforms or some conventional media.

This act, he said, fell short of their expectations as scientists and weakened the scientific engagement on peer review platforms.

“I urge scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic as it would eliminate unnecessary controversies.

“Efforts should also be geared toward generating information and inventions that the world so long for to tackle the pandemic.”

The virologist noted that controversies were part of the evolution of new knowledge or paradigm shift in science.

He, however, added that new knowledge must be communicated rightly with modesty, clear and verifiable evidence to back up claims. (

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