Spring 2021 Virtual Workshop - April 14, 15 & 16, 2021


Medical Posthumanities: Governing Health Beyond the Human

2021 Baldy Center Workshop — Medical Posthumanities: Governing Health Beyond the Human. Illustration courtesy of NIH Nanotechnology Image Library.

April 14, 15 & 16, 2021:  Join us for the virtual workshop, Medical Posthumanities: Governing Health Beyond the Human. While medical humanities have tended to focus almost exclusively on humans, a medical posthumanities, by contrast, would take seriously the role of "more-than-human" actors to explore the complex entanglements of human, animal, and ecological health. Given that the human individual has long served as the subject of liberal societies and the systems of governance to which they gave rise, the legal implications of a medical posthumanities are immediate.

RELATED PODCAST: Irus Braverman discusses medical posthumanities on The Baldy Center Podcast

Virtual Workshop Registration

The event is free and open to the pubic with advance registration.



The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy

SEE: April  15, 2021
Dr. Laura H. Kahn [MD, MPH, MPP]

Abstract: In Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari, the Israeli historian, wrote that the Abrahamic religions, the agriculture religions, created humans in the image of God to rule over all other animals and the Earth.[1] This belief in humanity’s omnipotence to do whatever it wants with other animals and the planet has had deleterious impacts on health and well-being. One Health is the concept that human, animal, and environmental/ecosystem health are linked. We must recognize our connectedness with the other animals and our dependence upon a healthy planet if we are to survive as a species. We are surprised when our actions such as the trade, slaughter, and consumption of endangered species results in the emergence of a deadly pandemic. Even worse, our wastes are contaminating the planet. Over 7.5 billion humans and over 30 billion food mammals constitute 96 to 98 percent of the total mammalian zoomass on Earth, producing almost 4 trillion kgs of fecal matter, contaminating soils and waters, and emitting greenhouse gasses.[2][3] If we are to have a sustainable future, we must implement a One Health approach to global health.

[1] Harari YN. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind. HarperCollins, New York. 2015.

[2] Zeller U, Starik N, Gottert T. (2017) Biodiversity, Land Use and Ecosystem Services—An Organismic and Comparative Approach to Different Geographical Regions. Global Ecology and Conservation. 10: 114-125.

[3] Berendes DM, Yang PJ, Lai A, et al. (2018) Estimation of Global Recoverable Human and Animal Faecal Biomass. Nature Sustainability. 1: 679-685.

Dr. Laura H. Kahn is a physician and research scholar with the Program on Science and Global Security at the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs. In 2006, she published Confronting Zoonoses, Linking Human and Veterinary Medicine in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that helped launch the  One Health Initiative.  Kahn is the author of two books: Who’s in Charge? Leadership During Epidemics, Bioterror Attacks, and Other Public Health Crises and One Health and the Politics of Antimicrobial Resistance. In June 2020, she launched her Coursera course: Bats, Ducks, and Pandemics: An Introduction to One Health Policy which has thousands of students from around the world. In 2014, Kahn received a Presidential Award for Meritorious Service from the American Association of Public Health Physicians, and, in 2016, the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) awarded her with their highest honor for her work in One Health: the K.F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award.