The third annual Princeton-Fung Global Forum next month will bring together researchers, scholars, policymakers and health officials to examine West Africa's Ebola outbreak as a case study of a modern plague.
The event, to be held Nov. 2-3 in Dublin, Ireland, will highlight the multidisciplinary approach needed to resolve the crisis, involving not only public health and medical knowledge but an understanding of its economic, environmental, political and historical roots and consequences. The conference, "Modern Plagues: Lessons Learned from the Ebola Crisis," will also look ahead to ways to avoid and address future crises. In the video below, Princeton Princeton administrators and faculty members affiliated with the conference preview the wide-ranging issues that will be discussed.
"There have been a lot of conferences on the Ebola crisis, and on some of the public health issues related to it," said Princeton President Christopher L. Eisgruber. "This particular conference is different in that it takes an interdisciplinary view of the issues and brings to bear a broad range of disciplines — history, economics, policy science, political science, molecular biology — draws them together, and draws not only on academics, but also on policymakers from NGOs and from government."
The forum, which will be held at University College Dublin, features speakers and panelists from Africa, Europe and North America. The event is being organized by Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in coordination with campus partners. Registration, which is required, is open to the public.
"The overall goal of the modern plagues conference is to bring together many people from many different perspectives, different fields, different occupations, to have an important conversation about global health," said Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, the Lawrence and Shirley Katzman and Lewis and Anna Ernst Professor in the Economics of Education, and a professor of economics and public affairs. "We chose the topic of Ebola not necessarily just to focus on Ebola but because it provides a lens through which we can discuss many of the critical issues facing many aspects of global health today."
The conference will include keynote addresses by:
- Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust and professor of tropical medicine at the University of Oxford;
- Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a microbiologist known for research into Ebola and AIDS;
- Raj Panjabi, co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health and associate physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Harvard Medical School's Brigham and Women's Hospital; and
- Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, founder of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, and United Nations special envoy for climate change.
Panel topics will include "The History of Plagues," "The Science of Plagues," "Disease and the Information Highway," "The Politics of Plagues," "Follow the Money" and "After the Plague."
Along with Eisgruber and Rouse, Princeton University speakers on the program include:
- João Biehl, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology and co-director of Princeton's Program in Global Health and Health Policy;
- Anne Case, the Alexander Stewart 1886 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and director of the Research Program in Development Studies;
- Janet Currie, the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, chair of the Department of Economics, and director of Princeton's Center for Health and Wellbeing;
- Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs;
- Bryan Grenfell, the Kathryn Briger and Sarah Fenton Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs;
- Amaney Jamal, the Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Politics and director of the Mamdouha S. Bobst Center for Peace and Justice;
- Adel Mahmoud, a lecturer with the rank of professor at the Wilson School and former president of Merck Vaccines;
- Carolyn Rouse, a professor of anthropology and director of the Program in African Studies;
- Matt Salganik, a professor of sociology;
- Thomas Shenk, the James A. Elkins Jr. Professor in the Life Sciences;
- Keith Wailoo, the Townsend Martin Professor of History and Public Affairs; and
- Leonard Wantchekon, a professor of politics and international affairs.
Other participants will come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Concern Worldwide, GOAL Ireland, International Rescue Committee, John Snow Inc., Oxford University, U.K. Department for International Development, MSF/Ireland, UNICEF Innovations, University College Dublin, the University of Ghana, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team, the Wellbody Alliance, and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa. Panel moderators will be from The Lancet, The Washington Post, National Public Radio and The New York Times.
More information on the 2015 forum, as well as links to information on the earlier events, is available on the Princeton-Fung Global Forum website.
The Princeton-Fung Global Forum was established in 2012 as part of a $10 million gift from William Fung, a 1970 Princeton graduate and former University trustee who is group chairman of the Hong Kong-based company Li & Fung. The first forum was held in 2013 in Shanghai on "The Future of the City." The second forum, held in April 2014 in Paris, focused on the future of higher education.