Spreading the word on infectious disease control
13 October 2015
On 2 November, the University will host the second Elizabeth Blackwell Annual Public Lecture, entitled ‘When pathogens meet people: controlling infectious disease epidemics’.
The lecture will be given by Professor Dame Anne Johnson, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Chair of the Population Health Domain and Vice Dean for external affairs in the Faculty of Population Health at University College London.
Professor Dame Anne Johnson will talk about her research into HIV and sexually transmitted infections, in particular the successes and a failure of population interventions to control these diseases. She will also discuss future innovations in controlling emerging infections, drawing on recent novel research with flu and Ebola.
This public lecture is named after Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to receive a medical degree in the US and to be placed on the UK's medical register. Blackwell was born in Bristol in 1821 and emigrated to the US with her family in 1832. She returned to the UK in 1859, and visited Bristol in 1869 to lecture at the Social Science Congress at its Annual Meeting for the Promotion of Social Science, held on the site now occupied by the Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building. Elizabeth Blackwell worked tirelessly throughout her life to improve public health.
Members of the public are especially welcome at the lecture, which aims to revive the spirit of the Penny Lectures. These talks were designed to educate, and to encourage new thinking and ideas at affordable prices – a penny. They were part of the work of the National Health Society, which was founded by Elizabeth Blackwell in 1871 after she returned from the US to settle in England.
According to its annual report, the Society had delivered 63 talks by 1878, chiefly at Mothers’ Meetings and Working Men’s Clubs. The lectures were initially confined to London but soon spread to other parts of the country, especially the more deprived areas. Topics included the importance of fresh air and exercise, cleanliness and sanitation; personal hygiene; first aid; and childcare. Since many of those attending may only have been semi-literate, emphasis was placed on oral messages and illustrations.
The lecture takes place from 6pm to 7pm on 2 November 2015 in the Wills Memorial Building, Queen’s Road, Bristol BS8 1RJ. Attendance is free but registration is required.
About the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute
The lecture is organised by the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research (EBI). EBI is building a dynamic community of researchers from health and non-health related disciplines at the University of Bristol to find innovative solutions for some of the most pressing health challenges of the 21st century. The Institute will achieve this through encouraging new ways of working, and also through fostering collaborative approaches between scientists, industry, clinical practitioners, patients and the public. The Institute operates across all faculties of the University of Bristol.
Women in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics)
The University of Bristol is proud of its association with pioneering women, such as Elizabeth Blackwell, in the fields of science, technology, engineering, medicine and maths. Dorothy Hodgkin, who was the University’s Chancellor from 1970 to 1988, is the only British woman to have won a Nobel Prize for science, for cracking the chemical structures of penicillin and vitamin B12. The University is celebrating some of the inspiring work carried out by its current women academics today on Ada Lovelace Day. Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician who is considered to have written the first computer program in the mid-1880s. Ada Lovelace Day is an international grassroots event established to promote female role models in the STEMM subjects: @findingada, #ald15.
Follow the conversation @BristolUni, #uobinspired.