Microbiomes in Human Health, Agriculture and the Environment: Integrating Biological Sciences and Social Sciences in Research and Education

by Bill Hickey

Microbiomes: People and Planet

Visit their website here: http://microbiomespeopleplanet.weebly.com/

The colloquium is an outcome of a project supported by the UW-Madison, Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies.  The project, entitled “Microbiomes in human health and the environment: Integrating biological and social sciences in research and education” is funded through the program on Thematic Clusters in Science & Technology Studies. For more information about the Holtz Center or the Thematic Cluster program please visit this link: https://sts.wisc.edu/

The goal of the Microbiome Research Cluster is to foster development of bridges between researchers studying the microbiome in biological sciences with those examining societal dimensions of the microbiome to facilitate integration of these fields in educational activities and research endeavors. Researchers in both of these areas can make important contributions along the disciplinary lines within which they work. However, there are also significant opportunities for biologists and sociologists to work together in collaborative efforts that would add new dimensions to their microbiome projects and enhance its impact. The present proposal is intended to foster development of activities, venues and networks that will facilitate such interdisciplinary activities in research as well as education.

The organizational team cluster represents a combination of biological and social scientists that approach microbiome studies from a variety of perspectives. It includes microbiologists who study microbiomes in a wide range of processes including: enhancing agricultural productivity, biogeological processes and human health. A team of social scientists joins the biologists with interests in the relationship between social factors and human health and in the communication of science and risk.