BioMed Central held a forum entitled "How science
addresses developing world issues" as part of the British Association for the Advancement of Science’s Festival of Science held in Liverpool earlier this month. Guests included members of the
press, academics, students and representatives from charity organisations. The
audience heard a variety of presentations about the prevalence of malaria
in sub-Saharan Africa, how media can help tackle third world diseases, the use
of information technology for medical knowledge in Ghana and the adoption of
open access in developing countries.
BioMed Central Publisher, Matt Cockerill, chaired the
forum and focussed on the dissemination of knowledge in developing countries
and the sorts of technology required to share knowledge. In addition, Matt also
discussed the increase of open access to relevant research in these countries.
Dr Colin Sutherland, lecturer at the London
School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Editorial Board Member of Malaria Journal,
provided an insight into the incidence of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa and the
mechanisms required to help eradicate this disease in the 21st century.
David Dickson, Director
of SciDev.net then discussed ‘The
role of the media in tackling disease in the developing world’,noting that the communication of accurate and accessible information about science
and technology are essential to achieve economic growth, reduce poverty and
Next up was Jib Hagan, founder of C.A.R.E Computers for Developing
Countries. Jib presented an interesting account of the distribution
of computers in Ghana. Additionally, Jib discussed how his organisation plans
to improve communication between "developed and developing world
medical expertise" by supplying computers to hospitals in Ghana.
Finally, Barbara Kirsop of the Electronic Publishing Trust for
Development focused on how developing countries have embraced open access
to research, by setting up both open access repositories and open access journals.
would like to thank the external speakers and all of those who came
along to the forum for making it such a success.