Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research interests are in the measurement of happiness and in changing behaviour through changing the context within which choices are made. He has worked extensively with policymakers, has over 100 peer-reviewed papers, and is the author of “Happiness by Design” and “Happy Ever After”.
Transcription of the video
For me, there’s no doubt that the biggest benefit of lockdown has been the impact on the environment, the air is cleaner. And that’s something that we can carry forward with us I think If we remind ourselves just how good that particular bit of experience has been, then maybe we can start doing something to mitigate climate change.
I think one prediction we can make now is that most of the predictions for a post-COVID world will be wrong. What feels really important now, will quickly pass, we have very short memories, when end up by large being the people that we were before. So if you want to really make significant change, for example, in relation to the environment, we need to embed some of those changes right now.
I think the biggest negative impact of the pandemic will be the policy response to shut schools. Not just the educational attainment and the widening inequalities that will come in that from schools being shut for significantly long periods, but the social interaction, the child development, all of those things that, I think, will show up in largely negative ways for many, many more years to come.