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Social sciences/Demography/Vital statistics/Morbidity

On October 26th a short symposium was held by Science's office in Cambridge UK, on the theme of disease prevention. The symposium featured some of the speakers who had contributed to Science special feature on this topic on September 21st. Abstracts of the talks are featured below.

C. Timmerman (University of Manchester)
Disease prevention has never been simple, and it is more complex in contexts of relative affluence, where chronic and non-communicable disorders have become the dominant causes of morbidity and mortality. Taking a historical perspective allows us to explore why some problems appear to be so persistent. The talk will address particularly issues related to the legitimacy, the effectiveness and the 'side effects' of public health interventions in the age of risk factors. This will be illustrated with examples from the history of lung cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially hypertension.

HIV/AIDS is on “the very, very short list of the most impactful pandemics in the history of our civilization,” Anthony Fauci told a AAAS audience over breakfast at the Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C.

He recalled as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health reading the first report of pneumocystis carinii pneumonia observed in a cluster of five gay men in Los Angeles and thought: How odd, because it is a rare disease “that you never, ever see in someone with a normal immune system.”