January 2021

Feature articles

Can we change?

Wildfires raged, icecaps melted, and severe droughts ravaged nations. Yet in an annum where everything changed, our approach to tackling the climate crisis did not.

Race for a COVID-19 vaccine

The first member of the public was vaccinated on 9th December 2020 – just 322 days since the genetic sequence for the coronavirus was published to the WHO. How did scientists develop vaccines so quickly?

Getting Brexit done

For Johnson and his Brexiteers, leaving the EU is about reshaping the UK’s economy in a way that was once impossible.

R3trospect exclusive

Sex work during a pandemic

How do sex workers earn a living during a pandemic? Derry Salter talks to people inside the industry to find out more.

Message from the editors

We learned our lessons from 2020: this New Year was not met with optimism as such, but a careful and measured hope that things will get better.

After a year in which the headlines and day-to-day conversation was dominated by COVID-19, Joe Clark, Maggie Gannon and Will Jones lend their attention to the other global crisis threatening humanity – climate change – asking whether the world is willing to rise to the challenge, making changes to the way we live our lives in order to salvage an increasingly hostile planet from doom.

Sam Feierabend reviews the journey from sequencing a new virus that emerged in Wuhan, China, to developing a safe and effective vaccine that prevents people from losing their lives to COVID-19 – a journey that felt achingly long, but, spanning just 322 days, marks an incredible and historic scientific achievement.

Sam Portillo reflects on the long and winding road to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and asks what a future outside the European Union looks like for people in the UK.

We also visit Croatia, Argentina, Venezuela, Nigeria and the Himalayas in this issue of R3trospect.



Africa and Middle East

The Americas

Asia and Oceania