The Future of Public Health…is Transdisciplinary
The mass destruction of flooding, fires, and pandemic death has all too suddenly become a normal part of our news cycles and of the human landscape. If the dual threats of the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change have taught us anything, it is that public health must be able to better address complex challenges, particularly in terms of cooperation across myriad disciplines.
Siloed disciplinary thinking will simply not succeed in thwarting the destructive direction of our current complex challenges, that instead require an understanding of the intersections between engineering, health and the life sciences, international development, political economy and other social sciences, as well as history and the liberal arts. In other words, the full canvas of our knowledge is needed to change the inevitable direction of our life on earth.
Although the vast majority of graduate programs in public and global health offer a more complex understanding of human health than many health fields, it is still limited by the number of disciplines included in these programs, and the way students are prepared to work across these fields.
A new kind of understanding is needed for the future. One that embraces as many fields of knowledge as are needed to address our current complex challenges, and that prepares students to collaborate across these fields toward a common goal for a more sustainable future. The new Masters in Engineering, Sustainability, and Health (MESH) proposes to do just this, and prepare students to be better equipped to lead us into the future.