Microbial Lives: Practices Of New Human-Microbial Cultures

Project Details

Description

This project explores human-microbe relations and in so doing, opens up a novel field for the social study of microbes. 130 years after the discovery of microbes, science is beginning to change its understanding of microbes, redefining them as supportive non-human neighbours whose number vastly exceeds the number of humans on the planet. They are, thus, non-human neighbours par excellence.
Meanwhile, the importance of understanding the complex, changing roles of microbes in society is compounded by the advancement of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Global health literature poses AMR as the most serious global threat to human health. Yet, social sciences have not engaged in trying to understand these novel human-microbe relations.
Growing interest in microbes in science and society opens new lines for critical analysis. This project aims to develop understanding of new forms of microbial living and create new, interdisciplinary, ideas, and concepts about non-human relations regarding microbes. The analysis will focus on bringing light to three intertwined themes on human-microbial co-existence; governance of microbes; and ethical questions that emerge.
From 2019 to 2022, this project will address the social scientific lacuna concerning microbes through an original, interdisciplinary research agenda integrating social research with feminist theory and post-human thought, and interrogate these new theoretical approaches for tangible answers to practical and ethical questions. The project consists of five deliberately chosen case studies designed to highlight different ways of living with microbes, and three types of workshops to enable knowledge transfer between various publics. Results will be published in over 20 articles and an edited book.
Short titleMicrobial Lives
StatusActive
Effective start/end date01/05/2019 → …