The Microbiologists’ Warning: a Warning from All Microbiologists’ to Humanity

The Microbiologists’ Warning: a Warning from All Microbiologists’ to Humanity

The Microbiologists’ Warning is a Consensus Statement proclaiming that microorganisms are so critical to achieving an environmentally sustainable future that ignoring them risks the fate of Humanity. It aims to raise awareness of the microbial world and make a call to action for microbiologists to become increasingly engaged in, and microbial research to become increasingly infused into, the frameworks for addressing climate change.

Anyone with microbiology training, professionals and students alike are encouraged to become part of the Microbiologists’ Warning by individually endorsing the Consensus Statement.

In addition to individuals, organizations are endorsing the statement – already four academies and 27 societies have done so, including the Singapore Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology.

The profile of the Consensus Statement has grown rapidly with the publisher website showing >65,000 accesses and an Altmetric score that is considerably higher than any other of the more than 2000 articles published by Nature Reviews Microbiology.

The Microbiologists’ Warning is intended as vehicle for ALL microbiologists to motivate change in many and varied ways. The Consensus Statement is Open Access and is intended to be freely distributed and used.

A PowerPoint presentation is available for making presentations for conferences, teaching and outreach purposes – contact me ( to obtain a shared Dropbox link.

Translations of the Consensus Statement are useful for allowing more scientists to read the article, and are particularly valuable for enabling members of the media and general public to read and contemplate – even if the content is not fully comprehensible it will prompt questions to scientists and hence provide an important means of education and public understanding of the issues.

Currently, translations are being written in Chinese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Greek, Turkish and Russian. A Word doc version of the publication to help translators is available – perhaps you or someone you know would like to translate into another language – if so, please contact me ( to discuss and obtain the Word doc.

Things you can easily help with:

Food for thought:

An urgency exists for improving understanding about the links between microbes and climate change, and also more generally for improving microbial literacy in society – the two go hand-in-hand. One avenue for achieving this is for funding agencies to inact schemes to specifically address the microbiology of climate change and microbial literacy. A priority of the scheme would be linkages to national (ideally) or international businesses/organizations that demonstrate tangible incorporation of microbiology into their ‘thinking’ and improved public understanding of microbes. Another priority would be interdisciplinary research (e.g. microbiologists with modellers and physical scientists) linking microbiology to non-microbiology disciplines so that the research collectively targets the microbial dimensions that are currently missing. Also see the Call to Action (Box 2) in the Consensus Statement.