2014 Think Tank to explore climate change challenges to health

This year’s Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank, to be held in Brisbane on 23‒25 July, will investigate the topic of climate change and health.

The Think Tank steering committee, co-chaired by Professor Bruce Armstrong AM FAA and Dr Graeme Pearman AM FAA FTSE, has carefully selected 60 high flying early- and mid-career researchers from Australia and New Zealand. The participants come from a range of disciplines including epidemiology, human geography, clinical and public health, statistical modelling, evolutionary ecology and systems theory.

They will explore how increased application of science-based knowledge can help reduce the burden of climate change on Earth, as well as enhance opportunities that may arise. Working groups will focus on health and interrelated social impacts related to climate change in five key areas:

  • Temperature and extreme weather events
  • Infectious disease ecology and epidemiology
  • Food and water supplies
  • Livelihood and disadvantage
  • Security, social instability and conflict.

Dr Graeme Pearman AM FAA FTSE will present the conclusions of the IPCC report on Australasia, Professors Tony McMichael AO FTSE and Alistair Woodward will give an overview of the health consequences of climate change, and Professor Sharon Friel will speak about the social consequences of climate change. The dinner speaker is Professor Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation. Queensland Fellows will be invited to attend the Think Tank dinner.

A report will be produced summarising the issues discussed, with recommendations for action, which is expected to inform research thinking and policy development.

© 2022 Australian Academy of Science