Midlands WTISSF Symposium 2018

In an effort to promote greater institutional ties and to facilitate increased collaboration between Universities across the Midlands the WT-ISSF Fellows at the University of Leicester hosted a symposium (20th September) that explored and highlighted current Interdisciplinary Health Research.

As part of the day we were delighted to welcome Professor Jacalyn Duffin, Queen’s University (Kingston, Canada), to give the keynote address. Her career has spanned the sciences and humanities and she will reflect on her experiences as a haematologist and historian of medicine. Symposium 2018

This symposium was a forum for participants to discuss exciting health research being conducted in the Midlands as well as providing an opportunity to network, find potential new collaborators and share insights on career planning, future aspirations and goals.

Write up of the event now published by the Symposium Organisers: Our WTISSF Early Career Fellows!

Key Note Speaker: Jacalyn Duffin

  • Hannah Chair in the History of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada,
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Canada (RSC) Jacalyn Duffin
  • Jacalyn Duffin, MD, PhD is a hematologist and historian who held the Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine at Queen’s University from 1988 to 2017. A former president of both the American Association for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine, she is the author of eight books and many articles, holds several awards for teaching, research, and service. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. Her research focuses on disease, technology, religion, and health policy. She runs an activist website for the drug shortage problem and blogs about the issue at CMAJ .https://cmajblogs.com/category/drug-shortages/.

    Her current research and forthcoming book is on the history of the Medical Expedition to Easter Island, led by Canada in 1964-65.

    Stanley’s Dream The Medical Expedition to Easter Island (METEI)

    In 1964, an international team, led by McGill’s Stanley Skoryna, boarded Canada’s HMCS Cape Scott to document the biosphere of the world’s most remote community: Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Emerging in a climate of international cooperation during the Cold War, METEI would contribute to the International Biological Program. It was predicated on the imminent prospect of an airport, linking this isolated island to the entire world. With WHO support, researchers would characterize all life forms through biological sciences and sociology. It would be complete only when repeated later--an exercise that never took place.

    The team transported all supplies, including 24 portables for laboratories and dwellings. They documented plants, animals, and microbes and the health and culture of the 1000 human inhabitants. They witnessed a rebellion and the island’s first democratic election.

    Skoryna never wrote a report. Therefore, this book is the first study of METEI, its justifications, four-month adventure, and products, including vaccinations and a wonder drug. It also probes what might have become the findings of the never-attempted second voyage: not the anticipated invasion of microbes, rather an invasion of lifestyle. Easter Island

    Set within extant scholarship, sources include 200 publications and papers of the researchers and navy captain, in Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal archives. This evidence is amplified by 2000 personal photographs, several diaries, and interviews with 17 METEI alumni in Canada, US, Scandinavia, Switzerland, and South Africa. METEI findings are contrasted with present-day Rapa Nui informed by islanders, Chilean scholars and statistics, and a research journey in 2017.

    Jacalyn Duffin, MD, PhD, FRCPC, FRSC, FCAH, Professor Emerita, Hannah Chair of the History of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston Canada

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    The PI for the award is Professor Andrew Fry (amf5@le.ac.uk), Director of Research and the Manager is Anna Harding, Assistant Registrar(aijh1@le.ac.uk)