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MERSENNE  December 2007

MERSENNE December 2007

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Subject:

The Global Governance of Infectious Disease:

From:

Abigail Woods <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Abigail Woods <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 5 Dec 2007 11:44:26 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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The Global Governance of Infectious Disease:
Risk, Surveillance and Regulation

Symposium 10-11 September 2008
Newcastle University, UK

Expressions of interest for participation are invited by 31st January, 
2008.  Please send: name, affiliation, suggested title of paper / area of 
interest to: Andrew Donaldson ([log in to unmask]) and David 
Murakami Wood ([log in to unmask]).

The entanglement of infectious diseases (of both humans and animals) with 
the material networks of the globalizing is a matter of increasing 
concern.  Foot and Mouth Disease has shown that an animal disease can cause 
major disruption to the normal social and economic workings of a modern 
state.  SARS showed the speed with which deadly disease could transcend 
national borders in a connected world.  The threat of a new global flu 
pandemic, and the linking of this to avian influenza, has demonstrated that 
the boundaries that might be transgressed are more than just territorial.  
How should we understand, control or avoid the mobilities of such diseases 
on a global scale?

This symposium is targeted mainly at human geographers and social 
scientists in cognate areas of sociology, science studies, public health 
and politics.  We will have participants from relevant policy or regulatory 
bodies, but aim to sketch a strategic and critical social science agenda 
that is not driven by immediate policy / applied concerns but which 
nevertheless can contribute to improved wellbeing. 

The cost of the event will be no more than: £150 for full-time, £100 for 
postgraduates. This will be a non-residential event, so you will need to 
find your own accommodation (a full list of options will be provided).

There will be three sequential sessions focusing on three types of site at 
which diseases are constructed as issues, problems and objects of knowledge 
in different ways, but with the themes of regulation, risk and surveillance 
running through all three. A central point of the symposium is to identify 
the things 'in-between' the various domains involved in disease, including 
those things which bridge the nonhuman/human divide.

Farmyard, Clinic and Lab
This session will focus on the activities which occur at sites of direct 
interaction between disease and healthcare professionals, and the ways in 
local interactions connect with other scales. Comparison between human and 
animal medicine could provide useful insights in this area. Possible topics 
will include:
•	Diagnosis and disease surveillance
•	Local knowledges
•	Organisation and knowledge exchange

Models 
This session will focus on the way in which diseases are represented, 
simulated, predicted and anticipated through the use of statistical 
analysis, computer modelling, mapping and more basic field surveillance 
techniques.  Increasingly advanced modelling techniques are at the heart of 
disease prevention and control, but in the words of statistician George 
Box “All models are wrong” so we need to put them into context.  Possible 
topics will include:
•	Fieldwork vs models
•	Data collection and coordination
•	Communication and controversy

Institutions and Circulations
This session will focus on the interaction of diseases and their 
representations with global political and economic structures, 
organizations and processes.  The maintenance and dismantling of borders 
and bounded territories in the face of multiple flows and mobilities is a 
concern in many areas of strategic planning, policy making and regulation.  
When considering infectious diseases the following are possible topics:
•	Transnational organizations
•	Trade and (making and unmaking) boundaries
•	Measures for global surveillance and intervention
•	Travel, consumption and risk


Organising Committee:
Andrew Donaldson, CRE, Newcastle
David Murakami Wood, GURU, Newcastle
Valerie November, EPFL, Switzerland
Abigail Woods, Imperial College, London

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