Prevention and management of infectious diseases remains one of this century’s biggest challenges. As drugs and vaccinations have proliferated, protection from disease has increasingly been seen as an individual problem, requiring individual action. But due to the evolution of anti-microbial resistance, vaccine refusal and rapid disease transmission through global trade and travel, the impact of the drugs and vaccines that we have come to take for granted is undermined.
This lecture will explore the importance of understanding the ‘Human Factor’ in disease management, looking at the effects of policy on individual and group behaviour and at the role psychology plays in developing a new understanding of collective moral responsibility for infectious disease. The lecture is an introduction to the Oxford Martin Programme on Collective Responsibility for Infectious Disease, an interdisciplinary team from zoology, history, philosophy, psychology and medicine.