Social Science Responses to Antimicrobial Resistance and COVID-19: New experiences to be gained and mutual lessons to be learned

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By invitation only

In the last 20 years, social science research has generated significant knowledge about the systemic reasons for a great danger to mankind: The rapidly growing threats posed by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A variety of effective interventions for addressing some of the challenges and their causes have been identified. While some of these interventions have recently been implemented, many problems and questions remain unresolved. 

The Social Sciences are also essential to elucidate how legal, social, economic, behavioral, cultural and technological aspects contribute to the raging COVID-19 pandemic and how they impact the general public, and in particular those directly affected by this terrible disease. It is evident, that the current pandemic resulted in many unprecedented and unforeseen grand challenges that will have to be tackled and analyzed rapidly to improve the design of learning health systems, as well as the practical implementation of new strategies and technical solutions to better prepare for future pandemics. These preparation must also consider the effect of the current, and future, viral pandemics on secondary bacterial, fungal, protozoal, and viral infections etc. and the resulting impact on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

These intricate correlations raise two major questions that will have to be addressed from a One Health perspective: (1) What lessons learned from the current COVID-19 pandemic can be applied to the AMR space?; and (2) What can the emerging responses to the COVID-19 pandemic learn from the substantial social science experience in AMR to tackle the current and future pandemics?

In this mini symposium, members of the International Network for AMR Social Science (INAMRSS), who are also leading international AMR experts and social scientists, will explore these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective. INAMRSS fosters international research collaboration between research leaders from a variety of AMR research centres. The members of INAMRSS have substantial impact on AMR research and policymaking through their AMR research agendas.

Corresponding Organizer: Professor Timo Minssen,

Abstracts (pdf)




Welcome note by Professor Timo Minssen, European Lead of INAMRSS, Founding Director of CeBIL, University of Copenhagen 

Professor Lance Price, George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health in Washington, DC; Founding director of the Antibiotic Resistance Action Center

Title: From SARS to Superbugs: Bridging from the Current Zoonotic Pandemic to Prevent the Next

14:25-14:45 Discussion


Professor Francesco Ciabuschi, Uppsala University’s Department of Business Studies &

Professor Enrico Baraldi , Uppsala University’s Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering 

Title: What antibiotics global supply chains’ weaknesses and risks are emphasized by the COVID-19 crisis?

15:00-15:20 Discussion
15:20-15:40 Break


Professor Kevin Outterson N. Neal Pike Scholar in Health and Disability Law, Boston University, Executive Director of CARB-X, North-American Lead of INAMRSS 

Title: How does the antibiotic tripod (access, stewardship, innovation) map onto COVID-19? 
15:55-16:15 Discussion


Susan Rogers Van Katwyk, Investigator and Research Director, Global Antimicrobial Resistance, Global Strategy Lab, Mng. Director, WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Governance of Antimicrobial Resistance

Title: Learning from Flattening the Curve - Getting to a unifying global target for drug resistant infection




Wrap-up & Concluding Remarks

by Steven Hoffman, Global Lead of INAMRSS, Director, Global Strategy Lab Dahdaleh Distinguished Chair in Global Governance & Legal Epidemiology Professor of Global Health, Law, and Political Science, York University Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Population & Public Health