ISBN: 978-1-9999073-3-4

The Contribution of Disciplines from the Arts and Humanities to addressing Antimicrobial Resistance

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Macduff C

Year of Publication:

The Glasgow School of Art

Publication Type:


The increasingly rapid evolution of microbial resistance to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs (antimicrobial resistance; AMR) poses a profound threat to human health. Global and national policies to address this crisis are increasingly recognising the need to engage research knowledge and action from disciplines out with medical sciences. However, to date, the actual and potential contribution that disciplines from the arts and humanities can make has not been substantively articulated or illustrated.

The report identifies a distinctive set of attributes that arts and humanities approaches can contribute to research and developments addressing AMR. These comprise: imagination and creativity in framing new research questions from different angles, including questioning assumptions/orthodoxies; expertise in using visual communications to evidence the abstract issue of AMR; expertise in the principles and practices of co-design for co-development; leveraging the explanatory power of history; offering various valuable ways of thinking, seeing, understanding, creating and presenting; commitment to collaborative interdisciplinary working that explores new ways of integrating knowledge; curiosity and creative response to emergent issues; and delivering a range of meaningful impacts and outputs.

Importantly, the report shows that these attributes can drive forward AMR-focused work that is highly interdisciplinary in nature. As such, it is contended that arts and humanities should not be seen as an appendage that brings added value to primarily medical endeavours in this field. Rather arts and humanities approaches should be seen as contributing inherent, fundamental value.

Evidence Type: Case Study

Main Focus: Physical Health

Research Purpose: Process Evaluation

Context: Education

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Macduff, C. (2020). The Contribution of Disciplines from the Arts and Humanities to addressing Antimicrobial Resistance. Glasgow: The Glasgow School of Art.