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Peer-Review Record

Intertwined Strands for Ecology in Planetary Health

Challenges 2019, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10010020
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Diana C. Vanegas
Challenges 2019, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe10010020
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 14 March 2019

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

This paper argues that two traditions in ecological thought - the romantic ideal of unity with the biosphere and the scientific discipline of ecological science should be nurtured by the emergent Planetary Health movement. In so doing it should find its political voice and support a socio-political transition to more ecologically sustainable human societies.


It initially reviews key steps in the evolution of ecology as a concept and discipline. This section is nicely written but inevitably cherry picks the path towards its intersection with health. Other paths, such as that that led to social Darwinism and eugenics is omitted- this is not a problem for this paper except that  as an overall observation, it presents an idealisised trajectory, with little discussion of challenges beyond the conceptual.

For example L 383-385.


In transitioning from a conference paper to a Planetary Health (PH)audience to an article with more general readership, there is a level of assumed knowledge about what Planetary Health is or aspires to be. For example, the first mention of PH by itself is as follows:


Line 47: 

To examine the influences of ecology, in relation to planetary health, we outline some substantial and intertwined strands contributing to the development of ecology as a disciplinary field, as well as the applications of these strands to the ways in which the condition of the environment, the health of  humans, animals and the planet itself, have been considered.


At this point and elsewhere care should be taken to balance the assumed knowledge of 'planetary health' with that of ecology. This does not require extensive revision, but some additional explanations would be welcome.


I  applaud the explanation of the meaning of the prefix eco- in a range of health terms



Author Response

See attached Response Table

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

This manuscript is an important reflection on the somewhat forgotten concept of the high complexity and  sophistication in the interrelations between the systems that make up the natural world,  to which the health of all living organisms depend upon. 

In my opinion, the authors are assertive at acknowledging that the notion of interdependence remains central to the ideology of the indigenous communities, and this is clearly reflected on the way they interact with the environment, prioritizing the protection of the natural systems. 

However, I think it's also important to specifically point at the connection between the dysfunctionality in the modern public health systems and the model of economic development adopted by different societies around the world


I very much enjoyed reading this manuscript and I think it's an important contribution to the philosophical framework of the field of planetary health. 

Author Response

See attached Response to Reviewer 2 table

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

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