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Title: Introducing the Microbes and Social Equity Working Group: Considering the Microbial Components of Social, Environmental, and Health Justice
ABSTRACT Humans are inextricably linked to each other and our natural world, and microorganisms lie at the nexus of those interactions. Microorganisms form genetically flexible, taxonomically diverse, and biochemically rich communities, i.e., microbiomes that are integral to the health and development of macroorganisms, societies, and ecosystems. Yet engagement with beneficial microbiomes is dictated by access to public resources, such as nutritious food, clean water and air, safe shelter, social interactions, and effective medicine. In this way, microbiomes have sociopolitical contexts that must be considered. The Microbes and Social Equity (MSE) Working Group connects microbiology with social equity research, education, policy, and practice to understand the interplay of microorganisms, individuals, societies, and ecosystems. Here, we outline opportunities for integrating microbiology and social equity work through broadening education and training; diversifying research topics, methods, and perspectives; and advocating for evidence-based public policy that supports sustainable, equitable, and microbial wealth for all.
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Gilbert, Jack A.
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National Science Foundation
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