Social Science and AMR Research Symposium: Event

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:

Submissions to the AMIS Hub

Are you a social scientist working on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) who wants to impact policy and science? The AMIS Hub is a digital space for sharing social science research with a broad range of researchers and decision-makers working in the field of AMR.

We encourage three kinds of submissions, but are open to alternative formats:

  1. Our Commentary page is a place to explore one or two ideas from your research. Commentaries use general language, emphasising the translation of key findings for scientists and decision-makers in AMR. They are something like an extended elevator pitch: how does your research matter for policy makers or to scientists? We are particularly keen to include commentaries that demonstrate how social science research reveals new ways of knowing and thinking about issues around AMR and health policy-making more broadly.
  2. Notes from the Field. Within our Commentary page, we run a ‘Fieldnotes’ Series, which is an opportunity to tell people about ongoing research. AMR is a fast-moving field, and this is a platform for communicating findings in real-time.
  3. Essential Reading. There is a wealth of social research relevant to AMR. We welcome submissions of short summaries of books or articles, describing in lay terms how this thinking can inform ongoing debates in understanding and addressing AMR. We would be particularly interested to include summaries of materials from the fields of anthropology, science and technology studies (STS), geography, history, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, critical race studies, postcolonial studies, and other similar disciplines.

To get more of a sense of what we’re interested in, see our current range of essential readings.

If you would like to submit a commentary, fieldnote article, or essential reading, or if you would like to discuss an initial idea of a submission, please email

The Third Man: How are we entwined with antimicrobials today?

Last Friday 17 November 2017, the AMIS Hub together with LSHTM’s Antimicrobial Resistance Centre hosted a film and panel event as part of World Antibiotics Awareness Week (details below).

If you couldn’t make it to the event yourself, the panel chair Madlen Davies has posted an excellent summary (with some fascinating images from the Wellcome Collection archives) on her blog for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism which you may enjoy.  If you would like to keep up to date on our future activities, do sign up for our newsletter.


The Third Man: a World Antibiotics Awareness Week film and panel event

Date: Friday, 17 November 2017 from 17:30 to 20:30 (GMT)

Venue: John Snow Lecture Theatre, Keppel Street

Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, The Third Man stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to find him dead! This award-winning 1949 British film noir, directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene, is widely considered the best British film of the 20th century, and might still have lessons for us today.

The panel will discuss (a) how the film depicts the roles of antimicrobials in society after they had so recently been mass-produced; (b) how this has changed today; and (c) how the roles of antimicrobials has spread and gained traction across the world.


Chair: Ms. Madlen Davies, health and science reporter at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

1) Dr. Clare Chandler, Medical Anthropologist, co-Director of the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre & Principal Investigator of the AMIS Hub, LSHTM

2) Dr. Laura Shallcross, NIHR Clinician Scientist & Honorary Consultant in Public Health, UCL

3) Mr. Ross Macfarlane, Research Development Lead, Wellcome Collection