Extra mural

Science in society – politics, development and social justice.

Archive for July 2011

No child born to die

with one comment

Here in lies a brief comment on this new Save the Children campaign. The advert for which is below.

[youtube:http://youtu.be/Jn9oMA1GQ5Q%5D

Embedded from YouTube.com. Originally uploaded by Save the Children UK 

***

A few weeks ago I saw Lord Robert Winston speak about the urgent need for greater scientific literacy in UK school leavers. He spoke about the responsibility scientists have to society to ensure their work is widely understood. Then people will be able to make informed value judgments, rather than relying on propaganda from the Pro- and Con- camps. It will enhance the debate over vaccines, genetic modification, animal testing among others. It is key to this goal of improved understanding of science in society that researchers reach out to the public, especially school children. Read the rest of this entry »

One Health and the built environment

leave a comment »

A tumble-down house sits above a poluted stretch of water, plastic detreitus washed up on its banks

Slum living - our health and our environment go hand in hand

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has published A Guide For Assisted Living. It is a ‘how-to’ for designers, healthcare workers, architects and anyone else “who may have to take decisions on the appropriate design, specification, construction and adaptation of ‘assisted living enabled’ buildings.

As we are all aware, we are an aging population. The Western world has coaxed life-expectancy out to new extremes and so rates of chronic disease have increased. This week’s edition of The Lancet has given over its pages (actually its website, I cannot say I have seen a copy but presumably one mirrors t’other) to the staggering burden of diabetes across the globe. The well-worth-a-read editorial cites a 2011 study that shows the worldwide burden of the disease is 347 million cases, as of 2008.

The RIBA guide recognises that the growing chronic disease burden threatens to overwhelm the ever-more scant healthcare resources:

The changing demographic means that traditional arrangements for supporting those with long term conditions will not be sustainable even in the medium term.

Read the rest of this entry »