Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

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Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Admin on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:42 pm

Identifying, inviting and lining up outstanding plenary speakers is a crucial part of the success of the meeting. The meeting has three plenary sessions, and typically two-three speakers each morning for a total of 6-7 speakers (see the General Plan). That has been the usual. At least one additional lecture slot will be filled by award presentations, including the Goldsmith award lecture.
One extra plenary of 45-60 minutes with key notes could be organized at the end of the first day at 6pm before the cocktail reception.

The most important task now is to launch our search for the perfect speakers.
The meeting will address old risks, new risks and methodological aspects, therefore a theme that allows us to choose virtually anything we want. Please use this board to start a free-spirited discussion regarding topics of interest and outstanding speakers who might be interested or available. No matter how interesting is the topic, the speaker has to be good. I found an old email message from Manolis that could serve as an orientation here.

From Manolis Kogevinas, in preparation of Seattle 2014

“I think you should orient us identifying areas that you would like to
cover with the 5(?) keynotes in ISEE2014. Some thoughts on how to select.

1. We can have some "new" topics but necessarily most of the keynotes
should cover areas where there is interest among ISEE conference
participants. Otherwise participants will not attend. This was evident in
the ISEE Dublin conference where the organizers did a big effort to have a
whole session on nutrition that was very good but poorly attended. So if
we have new topics or topics that may not be very much related to key
research areas of many participants (say Pb in Nigeria) they should be
coupled with another keynote to a more mainstream topic.
2. More than the topic it is important to select very good speakers. I
would not select keynote speakers among people we have never heard talking
before. They may be great, but it is more prudent to invite persons we
have not heard before, to give talks in symposia or workshops rather than
to plenary keynotes.
3. I would strongly suggest to select 2-3 keynotes among major areas of
research in ISEE, say outdoor air pollution, child health, exposure
assessment, genomics/omics, POPs/emerging, climate change. We obviously
have had numerous keynotes on these topics before but these are very wide
areas and there is a lot of new research going on. So, for example, think
what would you like to listen for air-pollution, that would be attractive
for you to hear, and select like that.
4. Combine these keynotes from major areas of research with another 2-3
from smaller research areas, say noise, water, radiation, green spaces.
5. I agree that it would be nice to have a combination of local and
global. If we have, however, another keynote on global burden of diseases
we should make sure it will not be a repetition of what we heard in Basel.
6. Avoid repeating keynote speakers from recent ISEE conferences, say the
last 2-3 conferences.


If you have any ideas for an organizational framework for the plenary session, or remarks on what has worked well and what has not in the past, please post that as well.

Some initial suggestions are here from our collective thinking. Just suggestions to start the process.

1. Old Risks. 2016 will be the 40th anniversary of the Seveso accidents in Italy entailing dioxin exposure of the population. This would be a great opportunity to invite PierAlberto Bertazzi who has been conducting research in the dioxin business for so many years. Of course, the speech could be on dioxin as well as on industrial disasters.
2. New risks. Certainly the issue of migration, population changes and the effects on environment and health is something under a media discussion these days. We have been thinking to Hans Rosling, the faboulous speaker (TED talks) of the www.gapminder.org website and it would be wonderful to have him (see the last one http://www.gapminder.org/videos/dont-panic-end-poverty/) on Migration and Health. Tom Bellander may have contact with him and could try.
3. New Risks. Oil/gas exploration and fracking would be interesting. It covers several areas, from occupational exposures, to water and air pollution, to large scale impacts on climate change.
4. New risks. One idea is to address animal-based foods and impact on environment and human health. .Meat production is projected to increase in the future; the production of meat is associated with higher greenhouse gas emissions, an inefficient use of energy, and large water footprint. Until now studies on the potential impact of dietary changes on GHG emissions and land use, and how much dietary changes would lower health risks are limited
5. Methodological advances. There is a growing and very interesting area of causal inference in environmental epidemiology. This might be changing our approaches and study designs both in evaluation of risks and of policy intervention. The best person to address the new challenges would be Joel Schwartz.
6. Of course, other methodological advances could be on exposures assessment (satellites and remote sensing) or on exposome.

Two additional suggestions came during the last days. First, Colin Soskolne sent a message copied below.

Dear Francesco:

I had promised to send you a suggestion or two for your Scientific Program Committee. Here they are:

A. William (Bill) Rees is one person who I know could speak to this topic. I suggest that you e-mail him and ask him, by all means telling him that I suggested his name, to speak to an epidemiology audience about a paradigmatic shift to full cost accounting for environmental harms to health including:
1. That technological efficiency, promoted to save us from our commitment to uncontrolled growth (Jevons Paradox) is a fallacy/delusion;
2. The need for economic contraction of industrial economies to uplift the emerging economies to achieve greater convergence so that disparities are reduced;
3. Etc.
To give you a taste of Bill Rees, here are a couple of many available YouTube lectures/interviews:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3F9cDA-R4J8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxfGcwfYlAg
B. The other person from our own community is Colin Butler from Canberra, Australia, who could speak on "Limits to Growth" (the Club of Rome reports from the early 1970s, etc) tying it to Tony McMichael's 1993 book "Planetary Overload".
The two of them would make for a wonderful 1.5 hour duo. If they cannot do so, ask them to suggest alternative speakers. Colin Butler might suggest Kristie Ebi, for instance).
Colin in my view would deliver a wonderful history of the problem in relation to limits to growth, and Bill Rees could speak to the way forward. I think it would be tasteful to name it in honour of Tony McMichael who died a year ago.
Bill Rees' email: <wrees@mail.ubc.ca>
Colin Butler's e-mail: <colin.butler@canberra.edu.au>
I hope this helps.
I would be happy to chair it if you like based on my 2008 book (edited collection) "Sustaining Life on Earth" and on my and Roberto Bertollini's WHO Discussion Document from Rome in 1999 "Global Ecological Integrity and 'Sustainable Development': Cornerstones of Public Health" accessible at http://www.colinsoskolne.com/documents/WHO-1999_Discussion_Document.pdf
Best wishes and regards! Colin Soskolne


What do you think of that?

Second. I listened a nice presentation of Kurt Straif, IARC monograph program, that was really nice. The Monograph series is having a large impact (think to Air Pollution Group 1, the story of Glyphosate which is of paramount importance nowadays, the recent news of red and processed meat) and I was thinking that this activity should be recognized in our society. Therefore a key note from Kurt could be proposed where he touch not only methods and results but also current discussions, attacks and responses. I feel it is time to do it.

What do you think?

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Tom Bellander on Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:31 am

Following the previous suggestion by Manolis it would be helpful to have a list of presenters and topics from say the last 4 meetings. Is there someone that can do this?

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by livepibj on Wed Nov 04, 2015 1:01 pm

The ISEE Secretariat may be able to help.

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by f.forastiere@deplazio.it on Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:43 pm

I will ask the ISEE Secretariat the list of key note speakers sinec the 2012 Conference in Colombia.

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by loomis on Fri Nov 06, 2015 10:57 am

Very nice idea to organise topics new and old risks. This them could be expanded a bit to consider how and where new and old risks converge and the impacts this could have.

The theme of meat production is certainly interesting, but could be expanded to take in the environmental health impacts of agriculture more generally.

Pesticides could be a related theme with both old and new dimensions: old in the sense that worries about DDT in the 1960s helped launch the environmental movement and new in the sense that there is important new research, as well as new pesticides and new ways of using them. Herbicides are some of the most heavily used chemicals in the world and they are tied up with the production of genetically-modified organisms, which could be another interesting topic.

Of course I endorse the idea of a presentation on the IARC Monographs.

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Tom Bellander on Fri Nov 06, 2015 1:53 pm

Some ideas of mine for plenaries (that may be followed up by regular sessions), all topics that I would be interested to listen to, perhaps most of them "new" rather than "old":

1. Health effects of climate change. This may include both direct effects eg related to heat and rainfall, and indirect effects on regional food production and other living conditions, and subsequent migration. To make it more exiting the focus could perhaps be on migration: driving (environmental) forces and health consequences.

2. Global development of health. Seems important that we are well informed on the global devlopment of childhood mortality, life expectancy, vaccination, nativity, famine etc. Judging from Hans Roslings talks most people seem to see the world the way it was a couple of decades ago. Do we too?

3. Urbanisation and health. Do people that move from the countryside to urban settlements experience better or worse health? Densification of existing urban fabrics is often proposed to be lean on finite resources. What are the health aspects of such densification?

4. What can replace self-adminstered questionnaires? Response rates are falling and the validity of survey results is questioned. Are there any good alternatives?

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Martin Tondel on Mon Nov 09, 2015 10:20 am

I propose Alan AtKisson as a plenary speaker on theme of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015. He is an inspiring speaker and could give important contribution on how to achieve goals, targets and indicators on environmental health. Alan AtKisson has over 25 years of international experience in sustainability, with a special focus on leadership and innovation. Alan is most well known as an inspiring keynote speaker and as the author of several widely read books, including Believing Cassandra and The Sustainability Transformation. As a consultant, Alan advises companies, governments, cities, foundations, NGOs, and the United Nations. Alan is a general expert in sustainability, but he has specialist experience in the areas of sustainability indicators, climate change, renewable energy finance, green economic transformation, training and facilitation, and work at the science-policy interface. He previously sat on the President’s Science and Technology Advisory Council, a European body that reported directly to President José Manuel Barroso of the European Commission (2012-2014). What do you Think?

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Hanna Boogaard on Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:07 pm

Very nice suggestions! A few thoughts below:

1. Indeed a session about climate change would be good. Check the United Nations Paris Meeting late November. Also the World bank just published an important report, relating it to an increase in poverty, https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/22787/9781464806735.pdf

2. A session about social economic status and health. For example it may examine the mechanistic basis for the influence of individual and neighborhood-level SES on health, present a summary of the role of SES in observations of health effects of air pollution, and discuss ways to measure and account for SES in air pollution studies.

3. If you want to do a session on oil/gas exploration and fracking, it would be good to contact my colleague, Donna Vorhees, for suggestions for speakers. HEI just published a research agenda on this topic, http://www.healtheffects.org/UOGD/UODG-Research-Agenda-Nov-4-2015.pdf

4. I would not do a plenary talk on causal inference methods because of its complexity. I think it would be much better to have a half day workshop on this. Cory Zigler (Harvard)would be very appropriate for this.

5. Perhaps a session or a keynote about the future of mobility, air quality and health. At the HEI annual conference 2014, we had a great session about this, http://www.healtheffects.org/Archive/AnnConf2014.htm. Possible topics to include new trends (e.g., reducing car ownership, car and bike sharing), increased use of physically active modes of transport, changes in urban planning etc. Lawrence Burns (University of Michigan) can give a visionary talk, see http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v497/n7448/full/497181a.html?WT.ec_id=NATURE-20130509. Possible other names for such as session: Larry Frank (University of British Columbia), Geoffrey Anderson (Smart Growth America), Susan Shaleen (University of California)

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by robipira on Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:55 pm

I suggest David Michaels for a keynote speech on a topic on policy making/public integrity. For those who do not know him refer to https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/michaels_bio.htm.
Roberta Pirastu

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by Berna van Wendel on Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:10 am

I suggest to invite Donna Mergler as a keynote speaker. She is an outstanding speaker who has worked in Canada, Latin America and also Africa, and could for example address a methodological aspects and speak about sex and gender issues over lifespan in environmental epidemiology She could link this issue with both metals and pesticides in her talk. For example, manganese is an essential element but in excess neurotoxic and is an ´hot topic' . In addition, mancozeb, one of the most widely used fungicides world-wide (amongst others in Italy!), contains 20% manganese, but this is not being considered when evaluating its health risks. Finally, high manganese concentrations in drinking water are a problem in many countries and the keynote could evidence the need for health-based drinking water guidelines for manganese.  

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by kogevinas on Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:11 am

I think we should try and cover the 3 main areas of research presented to ISEE (child health, air/urban/transport, climate change) and try and have one local keynote speaker. This is not necessary but, I would think, it is advisable to have at least some of the main areas of research represented. One problem we have is that the Goldsmith award is decided too late and we do not know until very late the area that will be covered by that speaker. We can try and bring forward this decision but the earliest it could be is early spring.

Fracking is a very interesting issue not only concerning the effects on the environment and health but also concerning the policy aspects. Jeanne VanBriesen (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA) gave a very good presentation at a GRC conference I had organized although she covers more  the environment and policy side rather than health.

I fully agree about having Pier Bertazzi giving a talk on Seveso. This could be the “local” talk.

Another area where Italian environmental epidemiologists have done innovative work is the issue of the waste. Results from the studies are not spectacular but this is probably one of the issues to discuss, the difficulties in this research. Pietro Comba, ISS, Rome, would be an excellent speaker.

If we get Hans Rosling we will make sure that we will have a very interesting 30 minutes. I have only seen him in video conferences and he is an exceptionally good speaker (search him on you tube). He does not talk on environment but would give a very stimulating presentation on trends global population and development. It will probably be difficult to get, our Swedish colleagues should help with this.


If we want a talk on child health I would suggest Philippe Grandjean. He gives rather “political” talks lately but they are very good and it is time for Philippe to be asked to give a keynote, he is one of the child environmental epidemiologists who have had a very important impact .

Causal inference. Fully support suggestion for Joel.  For EPICOH2016 that will take place in Barcelona just after ISEE we will have Miguel Hernan, Harvard, talking about causation. That would be another option if he could come before to Rome.

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by ngouveia on Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:33 pm

Hi, I had also thought on Philippe Grandjean. I think he can give a very interesting talk. Another name that was suggested to me for the Sao Paulo meeting is Martyn T Smith from UC Berkeley (martynts@berkeley.edu). He has been doing work on the emerging field of exposomics.
I also support the idea of local speakers (about the Sevezo accident), and Joel for causation.
cheers

Nelson

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by f.forastiere@deplazio.it on Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:46 pm

Here a comment from Stephanie London received three days ago:

I like plenaries 10, 13 and 19. I like 14 but I would tie in climate. For 19 the lack of speakers is a weakness. I don't know most of the proposed speakers so that makes it hard.

I would suggest one called something like "Where are we with mixtures?" that summarizes where we are with dealing with mixtures (not that far) and what is needed to make progress. For speakers I suggest either Amy Herring (UNC) or Brent Coull (Harvard).

Yours, Stephanie


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Fitting Rosling into the programme

Post by TonyFletcher on Sat Dec 05, 2015 5:19 pm

I think it is great news to catch Rosling for a talk, but the time is now is very tight - so there are some practical consequences of a 80-90 min slot. You have to cut in to the poster or oral session or start the cocktail later.
As we only have 2 1/2 days which is shorter than most recent ones, i would not suggest to cut the poster or oral session.
Plus you may need more than 10 mins to get everybody out of the oral sessions and into the plenary.
So if the cocktail starts at 730, then it is too late for many people to start looking for food after 9 or 930, I think the snacks need to be enough for many (most?) people to eat enough so that they dont have to worry about eating. Is a cocktail/buffet rather than just cocktail already anticipated?

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by f.forastiere@deplazio.it on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:26 am

Tony, do not worry about this. We are happy having Rosling. With the first day starting at 11.00am and ending at 7.30 we will have three full days of Conference. Be sure, we will feed people that night; in Italy the last thing you have to worry about is food!

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Re: Plenaries sessions and keynotes speakers

Post by TonyFletcher on Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:34 am

OK sounds good.
Tony

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