Practising co-production and interdisciplinarity: Challenges and implications for one health research

Barnett, A and Pfeiffer, D U and Hoque, M A and Giasuddin, M and Flora, M S and Biswas, P K and Debnath, N and Fournié, G (2020) Practising co-production and interdisciplinarity: Challenges and implications for one health research. PREVENTIVE VETERINARY MEDICINE, 177. ISSN 0167-5877

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Abstract

We review the nature of interdisciplinary research in relation to One Health, a perspective on human-animal health which would appear to merit close interdisciplinary cooperation to inform public health policy. We discuss the relationship between biological sciences, epidemiology and the social sciences and note that interdisciplinary work demands attention be given to a range of often neglected epistemological and methodological issues. Epidemiologists may sometimes adopt social science techniques as “bolt-ons”1 to their research without having a complete understanding of how the social sciences work. The paper introduces a range of social science concepts and applies them to the challenges of understanding and practicing participatory and local epidemiology. We consider the problem of co-production of knowledge about One Health and zoonotic diseases in relation to funding structures, working in large international teams and explore some of the often-neglected realities of working across disciplines and cultures. We do this in part by applying the concept of value-chain to the research process.