Centre for the Social Study of Microbes

Year of award: 2021

Grantholders

  • Dr Salla Sariola

    University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Dr Jose Cañada

    University of Helsinki, Finland

  • Dr Mikko Jauho

    University of Helsinki, Finland

Project summary

Living within pandemic conditions has forcefully illustrated how minute life forms like microbes can have power over human lives. Their capabilities are not restricted to causing harm, however. Recent scientific research has shown that microbes are also vital for the well-being of humans, nonhumans, and the environment. Consequently, not only can deficits in microbes be linked to various health conditions, but also to ecological imbalances such as global warming and the progressive loss of biodiversity.

We propose to establish a Centre for the Social Study of Microbes in Helsinki, Finland that will serve as a meeting point for social researchers from across the globe. We aim at developing theory and methods to better make sense of the complex relations between humans, nonhumans, microbes, and their environments. The Centre will offer an exploratory setting to address these crucial complexities while also developing new scientific best practices.