Introducing the microbes and social equity working group: Considering the microbial components of social, environmental, and health justice

Suzanne L. Ishaq, Francisco J. Parada, Patricia G. Wolf, Carla Y. Bonilla, Megan A. Carney, Amber Benezra, Emily Wissel, Michael Friedman, Kristen M. DeAngelis, Jake M. Robinson, Ashkaan K. Fahimipour, Melissa B. Manus, Laura Grieneisen, Leslie G. Dietz, Ashish Pathak, Ashvini Chauhan, Sahana Kuthyar, Justin D. Stewart, Mauna R. Dasari, Emily NonnamakerMallory Choudoir, Patrick F. Horve, Naupaka B. Zimmerman, Ariangela J. Kozik, Katherine Weatherford Darling, Adriana L. Romero-Olivares, Janani Hariharan, Nicole Farmer, Katherine A. Maki, Jackie L. Collier, Kieran C. O'Doherty, Jeffrey Letourneau, Jeff Kline, Peter L. Moses, Nicolae Morar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Humans are inextricably linked to each other and our natural world, and microorganisms lie at the nexus of those interactions. Microorganisms form genetically flexible, taxonomically diverse, and biochemically rich communities, i.e., microbiomes that are integral to the health and development of macroorganisms, societies, and ecosystems. Yet engagement with beneficial microbiomes is dictated by access to public resources, such as nutritious food, clean water and air, safe shelter, social interactions, and effective medicine. In this way, microbiomes have sociopolitical contexts that must be considered. The Microbes and Social Equity (MSE) Working Group connects microbiology with social equity research, education, policy, and practice to understand the interplay of microorganisms, individuals, societies, and ecosystems. Here, we outline opportunities for integrating microbiology and social equity work through broadening education and training; diversifying research topics, methods, and perspectives; and advocating for evidence-based public policy that supports sustainable, equitable, and microbial wealth for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00471-21
JournalmSystems
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Biopolitics
  • Health disparities
  • Integrated research
  • Microbiomes
  • Social determinants of health
  • Structural determinants of health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Computer Science Applications

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