news 12 Sep 2018
– Clare Chandler – London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

On 10th September 2018 over 100 social researchers studying AMR gathered together at the British Academy, London, to present and discuss Fresh Approaches to the Study of Antimicrobial Resistance.

The symposium responded to a recognition that social researchers are contributing in a range of ways to understanding and responding to AMR, but that this work is developing in parallel, in different institutions, interdisciplinary collaborations and countries. The event was an opportunity to exchange insights and approaches, and to continue the development of a community of researchers who are looking at ‘the social’ in AMR.

This symposium brought together scholars from around the world – 40 from outside of the UK, including 4 countries in Africa, 4 in Asia, 6 in Europe as well as from Australia and the United States. Disciplines represented included anthropologists, sociologists, historians, geographers, artists, philosophers, science and technology studies scholars and even environmental scientists.

Formulated as a work-in-progress event, we heard from sixteen presenters across four thematic panels, saw and discussed 18 poster presentations, and reflected on the state of the field through a keynote talk and final panel discussion. The four themes followed those described by the Antimicrobials In Society Hub as ways to link together core literature and theory that can be applied to AMR: Care; Ecologies; Pharmaceuticals and Markets; and Knowledge.

Throughout the day, presenters and discussants continued to open up spaces for interpreting the ways AMR knowledge and action are co-constructed, and demonstrated how the application of social theory to AMR has the potential to enrich our repertoire of responses to this complex issue. At the event we launched the #SocSciAMR twitter hashtag. A booklet with abstracts and biographies of attendees was created for the symposium.

The presenters at the symposium were:


  • Katharina Rynkiewich (Washington University in St. Louis)
  • Artricia Marina Rasyid (Cambridge University)
  • Meixuan Chen (University of Bristol)
  • Mike Kesby (University of St Andrews)


  • Stephanie Begemann (University of Liverpool)
  • Miriam Kayendeke (Infectious Diseases Research Collaboration)
  • Claas Kirchhelle (University of Oxford)
  • Richard Helliwell (University of Nottingham)

Pharmaceuticals and Markets:

  • Md Fosiul Alam Nizame (International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research)
  • Carla Rodrigues (University of Amsterdam)
  • Panoopat Poompruek (Silpakorn University)
  • Nicolas Fortané (INRA – French Institute for Agricultural Research)


  • Luke Curtis Collins (Lancaster University)
  • Esmita Charani (Imperial College London)
  • Salla Sariola (University of Helsinki)
  • Andrea Núñez Casal (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Poster Presentations:

  • Alena Kamenshchikova: Multiple versions of “One Health”: an analysis of policy discourses in international politics of antimicrobial resistance
  • Alexandra Hughes: Corporate food retailers, meat supply chains and the responsibilities of tackling- antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Andrea Butcher: Aquaculture Ponds in Ontological Refraction
  • Anna Silvia Voce: Realist review of IPC measures: A conceptual framework for extraction of data from multiple disciplinary perspectives
  • Carolyn Tarrant: Antimicrobial stewardship: a principal-agent problem?
  • Chawanangwa Mahebere Chirambo: Roles of antibiotics in Fever Management in Chikwawa, Malawi
  • Christine Nabirye: Exploring antibiotic use in an urban informal settlement among daily wage earners in Kampala District, Uganda
  • Christopher J Colvin: Nosocomial Transmission of DR-TB as a Contested Object of Policy Knowledge in the Development and Implementation of DR-TB IPC Policy in South Africa
  • Emma Roe: Mapping Microbial Stories: creative microbial aesthetic and cross-disciplinary intervention in understanding nurses’ infection prevention practices.
  • Gisle Solbu: Antimicrobial resistance research and the making of a Norwegian bio-economy
  • Justin Dixon: Rethinking “Ordinary Fever” in Global Health: Algorithms and Classification Work in an Era of Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Kristen Overton: A sociological study on antimicrobial use and resistance in India
  • Maddy Pearson: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: Contextualising Antibiotic Prescribing and Dispensing across Low-Middle Income Country settings.
  • Marco Haenssgen: Antibiotics and Activity Spaces: An Exploratory Study of Behaviour, Marginalisation, and Knowledge Diffusion
  • Nichola Naylor: Eliciting societal decisions regarding antimicrobial consumption: can health economic methods help?
  • S M Murshid Hasan: An anthropological exploration of antimicrobial use among commercial poultry farmers in Bangladesh: a study protocol
  • Susan Nayiga: Consequences of the imperative to restrict antimicrobial medicine use in Uganda: what is health care when antimalarials and antibiotics are under threat?
  • Zane Linde-Ozola: Microbiopolitics of human-microbe relationships: fight against hospital superbugs in Latvia

Symposium Organising Committee:

The symposium was organised by a committee which included: