England's Chief Medical Officer on academia's contributions to global health security

England's Chief Medical Officer on academia's contributions to global health security

Published on 31 March 2015

Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Scientific Adviser for the UK Department of Health, delivered an insightful ACU Perspectives talk on the topic of Ebola and global health security. The event took place on Monday 30 March at the Wellcome Collection in London, UK, and assembled an audience of academics, medical researchers, and higher education professionals.

Dame Sally took delegates through the history of Ebola, from the discovery of the virus in 1976 to the most recent outbreak that started in Guinea in December 2013. She discussed how, due to the unprecedented nature of the outbreak, the outcome relied on the response not just of governments and supranational organisations such as the United Nations and the World Health Organisation, but also of industry, academia and the non-profit sector. She said the crisis in Western Africa raised profound questions about how all sectors must work together to protect the world's population from infectious diseases, and particularly how research can influence policy.

Dame Sally Davies Perspectives talk - collage

Dame Sally examined the challenges and opportunities of working with industry and academia to develop and trial new vaccines and treatments, as well as the importance of scientific advice to government – even when the content of this may be uncomfortable for policymakers.

The photos of the talk are now available on our Flickr account, the full podcast is available on our SoundCloud account, and the video will be published shortly on Youtube. The hashtag for the speaker series is #ACUperspectives, and here is a sample of the conversation that took place last night:

Dame Sally's talk was part of the ACU Perspectives speaker series, a regular evening event held in London, UK, on the broad theme of 'change and opportunity in higher education'. Past speakers have included: Professor Roger Makanjuola, former Vice-Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria; Professor Budd Hall, Director of the Office of Community Based Research at the University of Victoria; and Dr Joan Dassin, founding Executive Director of the Ford Foundation’s International Fellowship Program (IFP). Read more about the ACU Perspectives series at www.acu.ac.uk/perspectives