A Sustainable Future workshop Editorials published today

26 January 2021

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Microbiology Society, we embarked on an ambitious project that demonstrates the value and raises the profile of microbiology in addressing the world’s biggest challenges.

Today, the Microbiology Society has published three Editorials written by the Chairs of the ‘A Sustainable Future’ workshop, in which participants discussed the opportunities and challenges microbiology faces in areas of key sustainability.

Professor Kevin O’Connor (University College Dublin, Ireland) investigates the critical role that microbiology has to play in the transition of our society from a linear to a circular economy, which is interlinked with the challenge of achieving climate neutrality. Policies at different levels of government need to be aligned and work in harmony to advance meaningful progress.

Dr Geertje van Keulen (Swansea University, UK) highlights opportunities and challenges regarding the role of microbiology in achieving healthy soils, and calls for sustained support from industry, government, regulatory bodies and professional societies for long-term interdisciplinary collaborations.

Dr Stephen Baker (University of Cambridge, UK) reflects on the threat caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the need to improve some aspects of the current research agenda to provide new solutions to AMR infections, including the translation of findings into interventions through better interactions with other disciplines and industrial partners.

The full reports - and a fourth report summarising the project findings and key recommendations - are also available to read on the Microbiology Society website: circular economy, soil health, antimicrobial resistance.

Image: iStock/ipopba.