The Coronavirus pandemic is teaching the world a lesson in the science of making high impact decisions. Perhaps at no time in human history have the potential costs of policy choices been so high. Thrust into the spotlight of the crisis is a [small team](https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/) from Imperial College London who have been working for some time on simulating pandemics. What was once a relatively niche scientific discipline has been placed at the heart of government policy, and the life-and-death decisions our elected leaders take with far-reaching economic consequences.
Since the early days of science and engineering, modeling has been used as a technique for rapidly honing in on good decisions. Picture the scene in Kitty Hawk, Noth Carolina. Two young bicycle mechanics are running down the hill, chasing after an early prototype of their flying machine. Chasing the centuries-old dream of manned flight.