Call for papers for the 1st “Emerging Threats” Conference, 19-20 May 2021

Keynote Speaker: TBA

Abstract Due Date: Thursday 20 April 2021

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This conference brings together academics, researchers, business people and medical practitioners from a wide variety of fields, for a collaborative, multidisciplinary exploration of health as set within a context of global emerging threats.  Abstracts are peer-reviewed. Themes and issues for the conference include, but are not limited to:

 

Stream A          Emerging threats in healthcare

The twenty-first century will see a variety of healthcare threats. These include an increased risk of zoonotic pandemics due to the increased proximity of humans and animals, combined with warmer temperatures. Other threats range from outbreaks of Ebola and similarly high-risk pathogens, the spread of severe diseases such as dengue due to the spread of insect vectors, vaccine hesitancy and its social consequences, weak primary and public healthcare, the spread of superbugs, antimicrobial resistance and the reduced efficacy of antibiotics. Climate change will impact the health of regional populations through the migration of disease vectors such as ticks and mosquitos. Some remain acute, such as the health impacts of a lack of sanitation. Many are increasing, such as from noncommunicable diseases including heart disease, cancer, HIV and related comorbidities. How can we handle these threats? What does preparedness mean? What are the challenges and opportunities, in various global contexts? What is the role of communication in handling these threats?

 

Stream B          Global threats and global health

The twenty-first century was, briefly, forecast to be a time when history had ended, and neoliberal democracies controlled the globe. Yet conflict, poverty, famine, and food and water insecurity have persisted, and are likely to frame major threats to global health in the coming decades.  Similarly, climate change will  generate large-scale refugee flows, spreading infectious and respiratory diseases among vulnerable populations such. Other threats include the manufacture of fake medicines, health data security, health surveillance and privacy, insufficient investment in public health programs and workers, ransomware used against healthcare organisations, and environmental biohazards in hospital and university research settings. What responses and countermeasures will be most effective? To what degree is prevention possible? What is the role of the developed world in responding to inequality? Does peacekeeping work? How can we handle the inevitable depletion of natural resources, and the resulting competition?

 

Stream C          Solutions and their problems

Current trends in healthcare include precision medicine, nuclear medicine, robotic surgery, wireless brain sensors, 3D printing, artificial organs, telemedicine and AI, and gene editing. All have their downsides, in terms of costs, accessibility, global equity. Many entail specific challenges, for example with rogue AI and biotechnology. Gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR offer powerful new tools for addressing health issues. Yet possible downsides include designer babies, transgenic animals and humans, runaway human mutations with unintended consequences, disruption of the human germline, military applications of gene-editing techniques in altering soldiers and in creating genetic weapons, and the potential for radically altering the human social order. We welcome papers exploring the potentials, downsides and possible management and risk mitigation measures for these and other emerging areas and techniques.

 

Stream D  Data analytics and emerging threats

In order to explore notions of emerging threats and responses to these in the area of health and healthcare, we are soliciting research cooperation from scientists, academics, business people, and healthcare practitioners of all kinds. These papers use data from recorded patient-practitioner interactions, and structured interview questions, and evaluate this data with content analysis software. Conference participants interested in cooperating with this effort will publish papers in a journal special issue with HEDRA advisory board members.  If you are interested in this, please click here.

 

The conference welcomes abstracts from academics and researchers working in medicine, linguistics, social sciences, government and politics, business and management,  medical and healthcare practitioners, as well as people working in social sciences and business, and in interdisciplinary and interprofessional fields, and others. We also welcome experience narratives, case studies, and situation reports from members of the public, people working in any related field, and specialists. You can find more information on this here. Participants will be able to watch a plenary session, and participate in a live-stream roundtable, and a conference roundtable discussions.

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