Think Tank (1/2023)
Participants/Speakers at the Planetary Health Proposal Development Meeting
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Planetary Health: An Interdisciplinary Research Initiative
13 Feb 2023

The Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies (NTS Centre) hosted the “Planetary Health Proposal Development Meeting” on 13th February 2023 at Orchard Hotel in Singapore. Planetary Health is an NTS Centre-led inter-disciplinary project funded by the NTU Social Science and Humanities Research (SSHR) 2025 Seed Grant. It is part of the NTU SSHR 2025 Strategic Plan that aims to advance NTU’s research in the fields of arts, social sciences, humanities, education, and business. The proposal development meeting was part of the project planned activities.

The full-day meeting brought together the Principal Investigator (PI) and Co-PIs of the Planetary Health project, along with academics and researchers from NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, and Asian School of Environment. It aimed at enabling participants from different disciplines to exchange their perspectives, which in turn would facilitate in developing the planetary health project proposal further.

Additionally, Prof Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood; Executive Director and Professor of Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, School of Hospitality and Service Management, Sunway University, Malaysia; was invited to share her experience in establishing collaborative planetary health-related research projects with different institutions in various places.

In her opening remarks, Prof Mely Caballero-Anthony; Head of NTS Centre; highlighted the relevance of the Planetary Health concept in the face of the unprecedented challenges facing our natural systems. The planetary health concept which links environmental quality and human health offers a conceptual novelty that can be explored further in this project. Subsequent sessions involved fruitful discussions on potential engagements of the planetary health concept among the different disciplines, and the importance of communication strategy in advancing the concept.

In the final session, the project’s Co-PIs; Dr Zhu Qifei from the Nanyang Business School and Associate Prof Md Saidul Islam from the School of Social Sciences; offered their insights on how to integrate the research from their respective areas of expertise into the project. The challenge was in formulating an overarching theme that would better synergise the different research components and make the project more coherent.

Participants then joined the discussion by reflecting on the conceptual framework and suggesting alternative ways to enhance collaboration within and between proposal components. There was much enthusiasm among participants in exploring the various possible ways to operationalise the planetary health concept. In concluding, project participants were to translate the meeting key takeaways into their respective research component and develop the proposal further. The next meeting for project participants to exchange their work  is slated to take place in 6 months’ time.

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