11 Dec 2023

OneHealth in agriculture science: New perspectives for research and dissemination 

By: PhD Students

Recently, our research group PAGE played an active role in organizing the International Workshop  ‘Strengthening cross-sectors to integrate humans-animals-ecosystems: a ONE HEALTH approach declined in agriculture science’ held in Pisa on November 22-23. 

In the contemporary world, the pervasive influence of climate change on our daily lives underscores the pivotal role of pursuing One Health as a part of sustainable development. Especially, the COVID-19 pandemic clearly showed the importance of transitioning towards a comprehensive and systemic approach. Human well-being is intricately linked to the health of animals and the environment, encompassing not only physical but also social and psychological aspects. Contemporaneously, as delineated in the European Green Deal, the accessibility of education, social engagement, and employment opportunities carries immense significance.    
Science and civil society must assume an active role in tackling calamities like floods, tsunamis, storms, and droughts, which pose serious problems to humankind. Furthermore, the eradication of all forms of discrimination and inequality is an imperative. 

The workshop explored the concept of OneHealth in agricultural science from different perspectives, from technical and legal aspects to relevant social issues like gender equality in food system. An interdisciplinary and participatory approach was adopted from the very beginning and produced a set of possible research questions elaborated by the participants as a final output. These commonly elaborated questions will open possible future research patterns on the key concept of OneHealth, and represented a first result of a two-day long project of encounter and contamination between different research fields and perspectives.

In particular, the workshop explored the One Health focusing on four areas: Sustainable Agriculture and digitalization, Food Systems, Dissemination of knowledge, and Intersectionality.  

On the first day, the discourse explored the intricate interplay between One Health and technological innovations within the realms of bio-molecular science, agri-food industries, and socio-economic considerations, with a particular focus on a contemporary and highly controversial topic: the cell-based meat. 

On the second day, the workshop adopted an intersectional perspective and emphasized the dissemination of scientific knowledge beyond the confines of academia. The afternoon session employed the Open Space Technology approach and actively engaged the audience in the One Health discourse in order to develop research questions, and experience a knowledge co-creation process

As already noted, the workshop was animated by a significant participation of the PAGE group. Five PhD students were part of the organizing committee (Letizia Forzoni, Tommaso Trinchetti, Oybek Norboev, Harika Meesala and  Arianna De Conno), while Professors Francesca Galli and Francesco Di Iacovo and the researchers Michele Moretti and Sabrina Arcuri participated as speakers in different sessions.  
Dr. Sonia Massari helped the organising committee to structure and to realize the Open Space Technology session, adapting and creating tailored tools for the topic and the audience. 

The Organizing Team in a Group Photo

Here you can find all the materials (including abstracts) and the photos of the event. Check also our Instagram page for updates on PhD students’ activities!