Preparing Helsinki One Health Summer School

During the preparation for the interdisciplinary One Health Summer School, hosted this year in Finland my academic supervisor Sarah Green put what I think is a key question in a few sentences. I paraphrase from my notes:

WOAH (World Organisation for Animal Health) was built to maintain the intensification of livestock farming, so its not in its story to address veterinary matters beyond that. It does not come from a place beyond a history of maintaining intensive domesticated livestock. In that light we need to ask what’s in One Health’s (OH) history? And how can OH be participated in so that we open up questions beyond the narrow foci of its key stakeholders organisations? And what is our role as researchers in that?




Climate Justice

I just attended a talk by Alex Nading giving insight into his next book on kidneys and the climate through the context of sugar cane workers in Nicaragua. Really great talk and I attended because Nading’s last book was on Mosquito Trails.

Nading went through how many bifurcations (nature culture, inside outside etc) are deeply inflicted on the context he works on, and reproduced in Planetary Health perspectives and approaches to working on how climate and health are interlinked.

My question to Nading elicited a very clear answer to the challenge with these approaches, which is that they posit ‘climate as causing certain diseases e.g. kidney disease, whereas in fact Nading demonstrated that kidney disease IS climate change. There is not an outside ‘renal environment’ that causes disease in the inside environment of a person kidneys. The internal environment of the person is the outside environment, they are THE renal environment, deeply interconnected by various flows, filtrations etc.

The talk also covered some really interesting material on worker rights, life support, laundry, the classic problems of solutions like investing in wells without appreciating what that means in context and so forth. I look forward to his forthcoming book.

Decision Making Reality – A video essay

A made a short video essay that provides some of the background theory to the documentary I made on Why We Play?. Its largely a summary of an old chapter from Ingold in the classic volume Nature and Society.

Decision Making Reality – an exploration of how decisions are made and how decisions make reality – On Youtube.

Why Do We Play? Short film.

I was invited to give a webinar at the David Graeber Institute on this essay about play. As I am just starting at with helping cultivate the new RESET research environment I thought I would take this an opportunity to also reach out to fellow academics from various disciplines at Helsinki University to give their two-cents on play. In doing so I made this short film:

Why Do We Play  – On Youtube


I have no particular affinity for the concept of resilience, but I am also not into dismissing a term simply because it has been instrumentalized and mobilized in harmful and unjust ways. In this light as part of the RESET environment I work in I find this mobilization of resilience o be helpful:

‘One question for future research may then be not what resilience is, but when and how it is socioculturally produced. To what does it refer—as a way of dealing with historical legacies, current adversities, and future uncertainties–and for what is it used? Is resilience built to deal with unexpected shocks (e.g., earthquakes), expected situations (e.g., droughts or floods), or also potential futures (e.g., hurricanes or pandemics)? Is resilience capable of coping with perfectly unexpected disasters that might ‘break in’?’

Mosquito Foodways

When you think of mosquitoes you will probably think about the blood they suck from you, alongside disease and their peskiness. What about what we eat and its relationship to mosquitoes?

A preliminary scour of the internet reveals that research on the connection between food and mosquitoes appears seems to focus on how personal consumption impacts mosquitoes biting you, and even that seems relatively sparse. (One can also think about what mosquitoes nutrition is like)

There is however a long tradition of research on agriculture and its relationship to mosquito habitats and their flourishing etc. But what about our collective diets. There has been a radical change in what humanity eats, how does this contribute to ‘mosquito biting rates’ or ‘mosquito pressure’ – not simply to inform personal nutritional choices in an individualistic sense but for example, what does a shift toward processed carbohydrates mean in terms of mosquito biting rates, both in the sense of the aforementioned link to habitat changes but also in the highly complex relationship to how we move, smell, sweat, dwell, adapt etc and thus how mosquitoes find, target, bite etc humans?


Disney’s Mosquito General

“In 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Joe to serve as governor of the Panama Canal Zone. In that role, he was responsible for governing a community of over 40,000 people, as well as services including education, military, public health, medical care, fire and police protection, and the postal system. At the end of his tenure as governor, and after 38 years with the United States Army, Joe retired in 1960.

He later joining the Walt Disney “Company in 1965 as its vice president of Florida Planning. In that role, Joe oversaw construction of the Park’s entire infrastructure; this included underground utilities and sewer, power, and water treatment plants that were considered revolutionary at the time. He also developed drainage canals for the entire property”

“Even the plants in and around the Disney World property are chosen with the intention of eliminating standing water. Plants are chosen because they won’t allow water to puddle in them. Bodies of water are kept free of plants like water lilies that mosquito larvae can hide underneath. “They also stock-fill those places with minnows, goldfish and a type of fish called mosquito fish that eat the larvae,” Lucas explains.”

Source 1 / Source 2 / Additional Source



The Mozzi – a Poem from 1633

Mark but this Mozzi, and mark in this,

How little that which thou deniest me is;

It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,

And in this Mozzi our two bloods mingled be;

Thou know’st that this cannot be said

A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,

    Yet this enjoys before it woo,

    And pampered swells with one blood made of two,

    And this, alas, is more than we would do.
Oh stay, three lives in one Mozzi spare,

Where we almost, nay more than married are.

This Mozzi is you and I, and this

Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is;

Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,

And cloistered in these living walls of jet.

    Though use make you apt to kill me,

    Let not to that, self-murder added be,

    And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since

Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?

Wherein could this Mozzi guilty be,

Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?

Yet thou triumph’st, and say'st that thou

Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;

    ’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:

    Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,

    Will waste, as this Mozzi’s death took life from thee.

Adapted from John Dunne’s erotic metaphysical poem ‘The Flea’ (1633).

Image Credit: Iness Rychlike / Hugues Aufray, Céline