Person with full-body protective clothing walks behind a fence

Pandemics: why a new science is needed

What do bubonic plague, Lyme disease, Ebola, Marburg disease, Nipah, sleeping sickness, Lassa fever, avian influenza, Western equine encephalitis, SARS and COVID-19 have in common? All are zoonotic diseases, ones that have jumped from animals to humans. Not all have turned into pandemics – where a disease spreads across multiple countries – but some certainly…

Covid-19 is a stark reminder of the struggle for rights to water and sanitation

On the 10th anniversary of the UN’s recognition of the human right to access water and sanitation, Lyla Mehta and Claudia Ringler reflect on the lessons from Covid-19 and the crucial but neglected links between water, food and health. The writers are among the co-authors of the book Water for Food Security, Nutrition and Social…

pig farmers at a meeting

Project pioneers innovative workshops with Myanmar pig farmers

In advance of World Zoonoses Day 2020, this year on Monday, 6 July, we are sharing a story from the Myanmar Pig Partnership project which has been taking a One Health approach to exploring the links between disease risk and changing pig production and consumption patterns in Myanmar. The Myanmar Pig Partnership, an interdisciplinary project…

Improving Africa’s knowledge systems: six lessons from Covid-19

The Covid-19 situation is unprecedented and is reshaping various aspects of society, including the way we produce knowledge, share it and use it. In this blog post, Joanes Atela and Nora Ndege of the Africa Sustainability Hub reflect on lessons from diverse experiences across the African continent. Knowledge systems (i.e. how we produce, disseminate and…

a woman in a mask walks in front of a shuttered storefront in Buenos Aires

Coronavirus, crisis and the real Argentine economy: post-pandemic challenges

This article was first published in Spanish in the newspaper Pagina12 on 10 May 2020. Read the original article A window of opportunity is opening to reshape the organization of society, to take better advantage of new technologies and to make it more sustainable and more humane. Argentina, through its successive crises, has developed a…

Migrant workers queue for food in Delhi

COVID-19, science and governance: lessons from India

by Dinesh Abrol, Ritu Priya and Pravin Kushwaha, South Asia Sustainability Hub The pandemic is global, but the response is local. In India, the first case of the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was reported on 30 January 2020. Immediately, scientists from the government’s Indian Council of Medical Research, Department of Health Research began working with colleagues…

Five lessons from past global influenza outbreaks for COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is a rare event in its scale and spread. But in responding to it, people have been looking at lessons from other outbreaks of infectious disease. What are the patterns in the ways that governments and people respond, and why have some widely-known lessons been ignored again and again? One source of…

1970s illustration of two heads facing each other with cut out section showing cogs

Post-normal pandemics: Why COVID-19 requires a new approach to science

Guest post by David Waltner-Toews1, Annibale Biggeri2, Bruna De Marchi3, Silvio Funtowicz3, Mario Giampietro4,5, Martin O’Connor6,7, Jerome R. Ravetz8, Andrea Saltelli3,9 and Jeroen P. van der Sluijs3,10 READ THIS ARTICLE IN SPANISH: See alternative translations published by Democracia Sur and our partners Bioleft. In addressing pandemics, science has never seemed more needed and useful, while…

UK press conference

Science, uncertainty and the COVID-19 response

One of the abiding images of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the UK has been the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, looking nervous and uncomfortable, flanked by his scientific advisors at the regular press conferences. With three white men in suits in a wood-panelled room, the aim presumably was to project a sense of control and…

Going deeper with value chain analysis: understanding power relations for animal disease control in Myanmar

Value chain analysis is already praised as a powerful tool for animal disease control. International organisations such as the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) routinely conduct value chain analyses to understand where animals are distributed, and who is involved in managing, moving, processing and purchasing them. In this way, policymakers and practitioners can track…