Sydney Science Forum: Law of the Locust

Speaker:
Prof. Steve Simpson (NSW Scientist of the Year)

Locust plagues are one of the most infamous insect scourges, affecting the lives of 1 in 10 people on the planet. But they have also provided important new clues into the causes of human obesity, how we age, and the complex behaviour of crowds. Professor Steve Simpson takes us on a strange journey that begins in the midst of a locust swarm and ends with the human obesity epidemic. Along the way you will see what you can discover by tickling a locust’s leg with a paintbrush, how recreational drugs turn shy solitary locusts into swarming party animals, how robotic helicopters are being used to track swarms, the sinister role played by cannibalism in locust swarms, and how a powerful appetite for protein can explain not only locust mass marching but also human obesity and ageing.

When 5:45pm-6:45pm, Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Where Eastern Ave Auditorium
Cost FREE
RSVP Please click here

Complex Social Dynamics in Health Promotion

Speakers:
Associate Professor Liaquat Hossain
Associate Professor Michael Dibley
Dr Cynthia Hunter

The presentation will first introduce complex social network dynamics and discuss the theoretical and methodological foundations required to understand different types of networks. Then the importance of complex social network analysis in discovering existing social links, or predicting emerging network structures, which could have an impact on individual, group and organisational outcomes, will be highlighted. In the last section of the presentation, the connection between complex social networks and health promotion will be explored.

When 1:00pm – 2:00pm, Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Where Norman Gregg Lecture Theatre, Edward Ford Building
Cost FREE

About the Speaker

Liaquat Hossain‘s work aims to explore the effects of different types of social network structures and patterns of information technology use on coordination in a dynamic and complex environment. He is interested in exploring (modeling and empirical investigation) the effects of different types of social network structures on coordination and organisational performance from a theoretical and an applied perspective. In his research he uses methods and analytical techniques from mathematical sociology (i.e., social networks analysis), social anthropology (i.e., interview and field studies) and computer science (i.e., information visualisation, graph theoretic approaches and data mining techniques such as clustering) to explore coordination problems in a dynamic, distributed and complex setting.

Michael Dibley is a nutritional epidemiologist working mainly on international public health nutrition issues. His research focuses on examining the “double burden of under and over nutrition” found in many countries in our region. To prevent child under- or over nutrition requires effective communication interventions with parents and children. Social and cultural norms often influence the behaviours we seek to alter in these public health interventions. A new area of inertest for Prof Dibley is how to harness the power of social networks to make these interventions more effective.

Cynthia Hunter is a medical anthropologist and senior lecturer in the International Public Health team at the University of Sydney. Cynthia teaches in the Masters of International Public Health programme. Her research interests focus on illness and healing ethnography and the delivery and quality of health care, particularly the interface between medicine and culture. She has worked in the Asia-Pacific, including Papua New Guinea and Indonesia where she lived for two years conducting ethnographic research of village folk’s access to health care. More recent research has focused on failed asylum seekers and forced migration, as well as a hospital ethnography of clinicians’ interactions with each other in everyday work activities in Australian tertiary paediatric hospitals. Current research projects include 1) clinicians’ communications in a major teaching hospital in Jakarta; 2) a community response to avian influenza in Bali and Lombok funded by the WHO (Indonesia).

Treating an Epidemic: HIV/AIDS

Speakers/Panel:
Bernard Gardiner (Red Cross Global HIV Program)
Dr Jonathan Anderson (ViiV Healthcare Australia, a joint venture by GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer)
Bridget Haire (journalist, editor, policy analyst and advocate for HIV/AID prevention)

How do we begin combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and what progress has been made so far? This panel discussion explores the current issues facing the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDs as well as the progress being made every day in eradicating the disease.

When 12:00pm-1:00pm, Monday, 23 August 2010
Where Pharmacy Lecture Theatre
Cost FREE
RSVP Please email aphq@goldenkey.org

About the Speakers

Bernard Gardiner was a volunteer in the early HIV response in Australia and served two term as Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council, and then was later its General Manager for three years. He managed the HIV Unit of the Victorian Human Services Department and chaired the 1st national conference of the Chronic Illness Alliance. His overseas work has been within the Red Cross Movement, first as Manager of the Australian Red Cross HIV Programme in East and South-East Asia for five years based in Bangkok, and then 7 years based in Geneva as Manager of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Global HIV Programme. He has visited more than 50 countries to assist with HIV programming, and during his tenure the Red Cross HIV work expanded from $3 million per year to over $100 million per year.

Dr Jonathan Anderson is the Medical Director of ViiV Healthcare Australia, a joint venture by GlaxoSmithKlein and Pfizer that is 100% focused on treatment and care of HIV. He was a primary care doctor with a special interest in HIV, sexual health and gay men’s health at the Carlton & Northside clinics in Melbourne from 1993-2010. As an active member of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research network, he was involved in multiple clinical research studies and helped found the Australian HIV Observational Database. He was President of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine and member of the Federal and state ministerial advisory committees. In 2004 he worked in Botswana for the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Development Partnership (ACHAP) a collaboration between the government of Botswana and the Gates Foundation. Currently, Jonathan is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Sydney Medical School and is the author of 26 peer-reviewed publications on HIV treatment and care, health economics, HPV and pandemic influenza.

Bridget Haire has worked in the HIV community sector for more than 15 years as a journalist, editor, policy analyst and advocate. She sits on the steering committee of the International Rectal Microbicides Advocates and is a graduate of the University of Sydney’s Masters of Bioethics program. Bridget works as Senior Policy Analyst for Family Planning NSW and is completing a PhD in Bioethics at the Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine, University of Sydney.

On the Origin of Epidemics

Speaker:
Professor Edward Holmes

How do epidemics start and spread in human populations? Can we predict what epidemics will occur next?

These fundamental questions will be addressed by examining how evolving RNA viruses are able to jump species boundaries and emerge in humans, sometimes with devastating effects. As case studies of the origins and spread of influenza and dengue, both of which are of great public health importance in Australia, will be considered in detail.

More information

When 5:45-6:45pm, Thursday, 18 March 2010
Where Eastern Avenue Auditorium
Cost FREE
RSVP Please click here