Listening again to Amanda Gorman’s stunningly accomplished and pointedly positive reading at the Biden inauguration, I am reminded why I have been feeling a greater sense of calm and hope of late. The pandemic, it seems, will be remembered not only as a time of great global turmoil and suffering but also a time of deep reflection about the planet and our future on it.

Out of this, I believe, we are seeing green shoots of change: change in our choice of leaders, change in our treatment of others, and change in the way we see and manage our relationship with Earth. Covid-19 has opened our eyes, wide, to life’s bigger picture and our need to make changes so that our children and our children’s children have a future.

Remaking the Future is the theme of our special virtual conference in April and our speakers (Gurminder Bhambra, Susan Halford and Gary Younge) and plenary panels (on Austerity and the Environment) are eminently well-placed to help us think about how to remake the future. Hundreds of sociologists have already registered for this special online conference and I urge you to join us. Be part of the BSA 70th Anniversary Virtual Conference – the one that, you’ll look back and say, took place during the Covid-19 pandemic in a year of pivotal change for societies everywhere.