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AMR social science

Antibiotic resistance will lead to progressively worsening health, economic and social costs in the coming decades. Effective strategies for governing antimicrobial use will be essential if we are to curb the rise of multi-resistant organisms and preserve the viability of existing antibiotics. AMR Social Science is undertaking internationally leading research into understanding and providing innovative social solutions to the global challenge of AMR.

Given that antimicrobial resistance is set to become the most pressing global health threat of the 21st century, why do we continue to misuse our available antimicrobial resources?

This questions guides the AMR Social Science node.  Leveraging the University of Sydney’s capacity to lead national and global solutions to the critical challenge of AMR, building on the strengths of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences and integrating interdisciplinary researchers from across the University (including those in Science, Medicine and Health). Along with biological and biomedical innovation, tackling AMR requires sustained engagement with the social, cultural, economic and political dynamics. AMR Social Science utilises cutting-edge social science techniques to help identify factors and promote strategies for the sustainable use of antimicrobials, thereby contributing to the broader project to improve global antimicrobial stewardship.

Our central aim, through world leading research, scholarship and engagement is to

promote good governance, sustainable use of antimicrobials and more effective policy and practice through socially informed approaches to antimicrobial stewardship

We aim to transform social science understandings into real-world solutions to antimicrobial misuse, forming a crucial pillar in the national and global response to resistance.

AMR Social Science has two primary areas of focus:
  • working toward better understandings of the multidimensional and escalating problem of antimicrobial resistance across nations and cultures
  • developing more effective approaches to antimicrobial stewardship through innovative social models of practice and practice change

The AMR Social Science node is led by Professor Alex Broom (School of Social and Political Science) along with Dr Katherine Kenny and Dr Sarah Bernays (School of Public Health).  Alex is an international leader in sociology, utilising innovative qualitative methodologies and social theory to provide novel understandings of the social, cultural, political and economic underpinnings of current health challenges.