Journal of the ...Volume 12 Issue 1 & 2 Health and well...
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Commentary

Health and wellbeing in the face of crises associated with climate or conflict: how can knowledge from the humanities and social sciences help us respond to disasters?

Sarah Curtis*email-imageSarah Curtis*

Sarah Curtis, Durham University and University of Edinburgh; she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2014.

email-image s.e.curtis@durham.ac.uk

,
Melissa Leachemail-imageMelissa Leach

Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex; she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017.

email-image M.Leach@ids.ac.uk

,
Kate Ardern§email-imageKate Ardern§§

Kate Ardern, University of Salford, University of Chester.

email-image kateard@me.com

,
Carly Beckermanemail-imageCarly Beckerman

Carly Beckerman, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University.

email-image carly.beckerman@durham.ac.uk

,
Paul R. Hunter**email-imagePaul R. Hunter****

Paul R. Hunter, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia,

email-image Paul.Hunter@uea.ac.uk

,
Hanna Ruszczyk††email-imageHanna Ruszczyk††††

Hanna Ruszczyk, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University.

email-image h.a.ruszczyk@durham.ac.uk

,
Mark Pelling‡‡email-imageMark Pelling‡‡‡‡

Mark Pelling, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London.

email-image mark.pelling@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

This commentary considers how SHAPE (Social-Sciences Humanities & the Arts for People and the Economy) disciplines contribute to interdisciplinarity, inclusiveness and international cooperation in work to address the challenges to health and wellbeing arising from crises and to inform strategies for crisis preparation, response and recovery. It reviews examples of strategies to address growing international concerns about the global challenges we face, given the increasing scale and frequency of crises arising due to geopolitical conflicts and climate change. In spring 2023, the British Academy, aided by funding from the Wellcome Trust, held three virtual workshops to discuss how we can protect and sustain good health during and after crises precipitated by extreme events associated with climate change or conflicts in various settings around the world. The discussion highlighted the need for Interdisciplinary perspectives, and how knowledge and experience from SHAPE disciplines can complement STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) perspectives, helping to inform disaster response strategies and to develop more ‘systemic’ preparedness to protect health during crises. The significant roles of governmental agencies and non-governmental organisations, and the importance of international cooperation were acknowledged. The discussion also emphasised the need to acknowledge the importance of using effective means to engage with stakeholders in communities at the local scale, whose lived experience and knowledge, often embedded in cultures and traditions, can usefully inform ‘joined-up’ policy and practice. A case was also made for more inclusive strategies: for example, acknowledging the vital roles of women during and after disasters.

Keywords

crisis preparationcrisis responsehealth and wellbeinginternational cooperationinterdisciplinarityinclusivity
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Published on: 22 May 2024
Volume: 12
Issue: Issue 1 & 2
Article ID: a13
Copyright statement
© The author(s) 2024.
Cite this article
Curtis with Leach, Ardern, Beckerman, Hunter, Ruszczyk, Pelling (2024), ' Health and wellbeing in the face of crises associated with climate or conflict: how can knowledge from the humanities and social sciences help us respond to disasters? ', Journal of the British Academy, 12(Issue 1 & 2): a13 https://doi.org/10.5871/jba/012.a13

Article commentary

Normal View Dyslexic View

Health and wellbeing in the face of crises associated with climate or conflict: how can knowledge from the humanities and social sciences help us respond to disasters?

Sarah Curtis*email-imageSarah Curtis*

Sarah Curtis, Durham University and University of Edinburgh; she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2014.

email-image s.e.curtis@durham.ac.uk

,
Melissa Leachemail-imageMelissa Leach

Melissa Leach, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex; she was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2017.

email-image M.Leach@ids.ac.uk

,
Kate Ardern§email-imageKate Ardern§§

Kate Ardern, University of Salford, University of Chester.

email-image kateard@me.com

,
Carly Beckermanemail-imageCarly Beckerman

Carly Beckerman, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University.

email-image carly.beckerman@durham.ac.uk

,
Paul R. Hunter**email-imagePaul R. Hunter****

Paul R. Hunter, The Norwich School of Medicine, University of East Anglia,

email-image Paul.Hunter@uea.ac.uk

,
Hanna Ruszczyk††email-imageHanna Ruszczyk††††

Hanna Ruszczyk, Institute of Hazard Risk and Resilience, Durham University.

email-image h.a.ruszczyk@durham.ac.uk

,
Mark Pelling‡‡email-imageMark Pelling‡‡‡‡

Mark Pelling, Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London.

email-image mark.pelling@ucl.ac.uk