What will the post-pandemic “new normal” look like? There has been a great deal of speculation about how different societies may change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, so far, these speculations have largely focused on the economy and facets of daily life related to disease prevention and health. The voices of experts from the behavioral and social sciences have been largely missing from this conversation. This is noteworthy given that psychological and social changes may be intimately bound up with economic and health issues, and may be just as consequential. Opinions on possible outcomes of the pandemic appear to vary dramatically, be it among journalists, political commentators, pundits or the general public, but it is unclear how global experts in social, behavioral and political sciences view the post-pandemic future. What might the consequences be for mental health, intergroup relations, social norms, or political polarization?  To address these questions, Igor Grossmann  founded WorldafterCovid.info—a multimedia outreach project that involves gathering and sharing perspectives from the world’s leading behavioral and social scientists regarding the potential societal and psychological changes stemming from the pandemic. Grossmann asked 57 of the world’s leading experts (among them 11 fellows of national academies and 20 presidents of major scientific societies in behavioral and social sciences) to share their wisdom regarding how we might sustain positive changes and prevent or reverse negative changes resulting from the pandemic. The database of video interviews with a diverse set of leading behavioral and social science experts from around the world is a time capsule of scientists’ hopes and worries over the course of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The project also involves use of innovate discourse analyses, natural language processing, and interactive visualization (https://www.IgorGrossmann.com/wac) to identify and illustrate core themes from reflections on the possible outcomes of the pandemic and wisdom needed to master it to the general public, policymakers, and diverse communities of academics.

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