Collective responsibility for antibiotic resistance: interview with Associate Professor Mark Davis

Millions will likely soon die from antibiotic resistance

How do we galvanise collective responsibility to change this?

Bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites are rapidly developing resistance to antibiotics. The WHO recently stated that this increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) will lead to the death of millions in years to come unless all countries are supported to be better prepared. A global multi-sector response to this threat includes efforts to communicate with individuals and communities so that they understand the AMR crisis and enact the expert advice provided to them.

Towards this end, Associate Professor Mark Davis is leading an international team on a new ARC Discovery Project researching publics, media and communications on antibiotic resistance. Titled AMR-scapes (Antimicrobial Resistance: Science Communication and Public Engagements), it engages transdisciplinary experts across the social sciences, media, medical anthropology, and health psychology. In researching the social science behind infectious diseases, it will inform how to aid individuals and communities gain access to treatment, avoid infection and understand the constraints, barriers and enablers towards better support.

We spoke with Associate Professor Davis on the different aspects in this research project from analysing blind spots in policy to exploring how narratives shape public responses, and the extent of media coverage on this global crisis. Associate Professor Davis also shed light on his other related research projects investigating the number and efficacy of health campaigns, use of antibiotics with pets and vets, and taking a ‘one health approach’ with the Orkney Islands.

Study at Monash