Summary of Talk:
Population health is under serious threat from the interlinked issues of globalisation, ecosystem degradation and climate change. As populations grow, demographics shift, natural resources diminish and the gap between the rich and the poor widens, sustaining population health becomes even more challenging in both the developed and the developing world. There is also a growing recognition that human-induced climate change is one of the greatest global health threats we face in the 21st century. However, the health consequences of climate change vary substantially across different parts of the world and over time. This increasingly important “global” environmental hazard poses a significant challenge to scientists and decision makers in identifying, forecasting and proposing ways of ameliorating the health risks. I will illustrate this grand challenge using some empirical studies as examples, and discuss how we can tackle this challenge through maximising impact on public health policy and practice.
Prof. Shilu Tong is Leader, Ecosystem Change and Population Health Program, School of Public Health and Social Work, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology. His research interests focus on a quantitative risk assessment of environmental hazards (e.g., climate change, air pollution and lead exposure) and promotion of sustainable development. He has published more than 270 journal articles, supervised over 20 postgraduate students (including 13 PhD) to completion and has been awarded many competitive grants including 12 ARC /NHMRC awards and a number of other external grants. Currently, he is Associate Editor of American Journal of Epidemiology, Academic Editor of PLoS ONE, and Editorial Board member of Environmental Research and International Journal of Biometeorology. He is also an assessor for many funding agencies including ARC, NHMRC, NSFC, Wellcome Trust, Netherlands Research Council and German Research Foundation; and a reviewer for a dozen international and national journals.