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Antibiotics beyond humans: Ecologies, production, flows

This panel will focus on Antibiotics beyond humans: Ecologies, production, flows. It will bring together key insights from recent social research studies into the questions of why antibiotics are being used in the ways that they are beyond health facilities and what social researchers propose should be done to address this, with a short- and medium-term horizon.  

The four panellists will provide a short description of antibiotic use in their study setting(s); a summary of reasons for this pattern of antibiotic use; and will propose ways to address antibiotic use in their study setting(s) that might be taken forward in policy, programmes and pilots. These presentations will then be followed by a chaired discussion about implications.  

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Stephen Hinchliffe, University of Exeter

Stephen Hinchliffe is an elected Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and author and editor of numerous books and articles on issues ranging from risk and food, to biosecurity, human-nonhuman relations and nature conservation. His research draws together insights from Science and Technology Studies (STS), particularly actor network theory, and Geography. Recent publications include the monograph Pathological Lives (2017), the co-edited volume Humans, animals and biopolitics (2016) and a Special Issue of Social Science and Medicine on ‘One Health’ (2015).

Claas Kirchhelle, University College Dublin

Dr Claas Kirchhelle is an historian of science, medicine and technology.  His research focuses on the global history of antibiotic use, resistance, and regulation. Kirchhelle has published on the history of antibiotic use in British, German, and US food production.

In 2016, his DPhil dissertation received the University’s 2016 Dev Family Prize and is currently under contract with Rutgers University Press.

Between November 2016 and May 2017, Kirchhelle also co-curated the “Back from the Dead – Demystifying Antibiotics” exhibition at Oxford’s Museum of the History of Science. The exhibition was awarded Oxford’s 2017 Vice Chancellor’s Prize for Public Engagement With Research Projects Award.

Claas is currently writing a global history of infectious disease control and surveillance with a specific focus on the history of global reference laboratories, microbial culture collections, and a technology called bacteriophage-typing.

Salla Sariola, University of Turku

Salla Sariola is a Finnish Academy Research Fellow running projects on microbes and AMR entitled Cultures of Cultures: Ethnography of Antimicrobial Resistance in Global Contexts (CARE), Antimicrobial resistance in West Africa (AMRIWA), and Socialities of a vaccine trial: Bacteria, Tourists, Local Communities, and Scientists in Benin (BAT).

Salla is the author of Research as Development: clinical trials, international collaboration, and bioethics in Sri Lanka (Cornell University Press, 2018) and Gender and Sexuality in India: selling sex in Chennai (Routledge 2012). Her research interests include feminist technoscience; ethics and politics of international knowledge production; and community engagement in low- and middle-income settings.

Salla is the coordinating editor of Science and Technology Studies, the house journal of the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology. During her pastime, she is passionate about fermenting vegetables and dairy as well as permaculture composting.

Rijul Kochhar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Rijul Kochhar is a doctoral candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s history; anthropology; and sts (HASTS) program. His interests include transnational histories of infectious diseases; environmental anthropology; and critical theories of science and rationality.

He has conducted anthropological and historical research at interconnected sites in India, formerly-Soviet Georgia, and the US, where he explores how a post-antibiotic era is causing a resurgence of interest in a once-moribund bacteriophage therapy.

Rijul’s research has featured recently in the Notes and Records of the Royal Society; Anthropology Now; and Anthropocene Unseen: A Lexicon


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