Changing the conversation about health

New PhD post: The Work of Complementary and Alternative Therapies on British Dairy Farms – apply by October 21st

The University of Bristol is seeking applications for a PhD studentship in The Work of Complementary and Alternative Therapies on British Dairy Farms.

This PhD project asks if and how the use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies affect farmers’ decisions around animal health management and usage of antibiotics on British dairy farms.

The project draws from social theories of materiality, Actor-Network Theory and Social Practice to ask about CATs role in configuring different farming practices around the use of veterinary medicines, disease risk management, illness treatment, culling decisions and cultural scripts of “good” husbandry and care.

If the use of CATs results, for example, in more targeted/delayed use of antibiotics or a different tolerance of disease, then the effectiveness of CATs calls for alternative metrics that are practice-based rather than medical-based and serve as better indicators of the work they do.

This conceptual approach to the project expects to contribute in practice to ongoing efforts to reduce the contribution of the (mis)use of antibiotics in livestock farming to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on one hand.

On the other, it should also contribute to ongoing efforts to understand and change farmers’ decision-making and practices by using a materiality approach that is not caught in the tension between regulation and nudging.

The study will be highly interdisciplinary and will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to work alongside veterinarians in a multidisciplinary environment.

Applications to be made by October 21st 2019: apply here