COVID-19 and the Transdisciplinary Future of Disease Governance

A premortem of the emerging post-pandemic period and a postmortem of the pre-pandemic phase are worthy pursuits for systems thinkers.

Nashon J. Adero

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The highly infectious COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the important topic of disease governance as well as the research and policy issues accompanying it. Effective disease governance has strong spatio-temporal dimensions. A premortem of the emerging post-pandemic era and a postmortem of the pre-pandemic phase is not just a good idea, but the irreducible minimum which progressive world leaders must face up to. Three areas remain critical to achieving the desired transformation: education, research, and healthcare.

Promoting transdisciplinary research at the interface of geomatics and health sciences has become more crucial than ever. Geomatics combines traditional and modern aspects of surveying and mapping including airborne and spaceborne technologies, essentially using location-based data (spatial data) to deliver accurate and precise metrics for decision support. To live up to their raison d’être as the foremost disease detectives, modern medical epidemiologists should draw actionable intelligence from geomatics to combat infectious diseases and protect communities against exposure risks. Geomedicine particularly emerges strongly in this case, being a new field that utilises the spatial intelligence extracted from the environment using terrestrial, airborne and satellite-based navigation and mapping technologies to enhance solutions to individual and public health.

Tracing the roots of a borderless knowledge culture

John Wheeler’s renowned quote goes, “Space-time tells matter how to move; matter tells space-time how to curve.” Rightfully, Johannes Kepler enthusiastically described mathematics as the language of rational order in creation. Michael Faraday, among the few who Albert Einstein recognised, only received 13 years of formal education then accomplished the rest under homeschooling and apprenticeship as a bookbinder. Thomas Bayes was a Presbyterian pastor, but to date, he is better known for statistics, Bayes Theorem. Isaac Newton was a professor in natural philosophy, an…

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Nashon J. Adero

A geospatial and systems modelling expert, lecturer, youth mentor and trained policy analyst, who applies system dynamics to model complex adaptive systems.