April 28: A Conversation with Global Health Expert Hans Rosling

Hear from Rosling, professor of international health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He directs the Gapminder Foundation in Stockholm which has developed web services viewed by millions on the internet describing how health of our planet's 7 billion people is closely linked to social realities, money and the environment. Free and open to the public.
• Watch a Youtube video featuring Rosling http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

When: Thursday, April 28, 10-11 a.m.
Where: Mayo 3-125, UMN


Hans Rosling, born 1948, studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University, Sweden and studied Public Health at St John´s medical college in Bangalore in 1972. When serving as District Medical Officer in Northern Mozambique from 1979 to 1981 he was employed in the National Health Service, in charge of all health service for 360 000 inhabitants.
In 1981 he investigated an outbreak a paralytic disease that crippled more than thousand women and children during a drought in a remote rural area. He identified it as a new disease entity and during the next decades he investigated 8 further outbreaks of this paralysis in poor rural areas of 5 African countries. His research team named the new disease konzo, the local name among the first affect population.
His research network, from economics to plant genetics, traced the causes to a combination of malnutrition and high dietary intake of cyanide from the natural toxins in bitter cassava roots. Outbreaks occur when hunger induced consumption of bitter roots without adequate processing. Poor farmers were found to favour bitter cassava cultivars as toxicity protects their crop from theft. He supervised 12 PhD students of whom most were Africans. In addition to konzo and cassava research he studied other links between health & poverty in different contexts and develops better methods for need assessments in Humanitarian Emergencies.
He taught postgraduate courses at Uppsala University (1983-96) for volunteers with assignments in low-income countries. He was offered a professorship in international health at Karolinska Institutet in 1997 and from 2001 to 2006 he was head of the Division of International Health with 6 research groups, 20 faculty and 40 PhD students. He initiated a 5 week undergraduate course in Global Health that examines 160 students per year and post-graduate course program for PhD students in international health. He co-authors Global Health an introductory textbook.
As chairman of Karolinska International Research & Training committee (1998-2004) he initiated collaborations with more than 60 PhD students from St Petersburg, Kampala, Addis Abeba, Hanoi, Teheran, Bahrain and Central American universities. In Sweden he has been member of priority committees of Swedish Institute, the Research Council. He co-founded two NGO´s in Sweden, the Africa Groups Recruitment Organisation and Medicines san Frontiers. He is presently member of the International Reference Group of the Swedish Academy of Science and of the Global Agenda network of the World Economic Forum.
He founded Gapminder Foundation with his son and daughter-in-law www.gapminder.org now with 1 million visitors per /year. The aim is to foster fact based world views by increased use and understanding of statistics. They innovated the Trendalyzer software that converts time series data to interactive enjoyable and hypothesis generating moving bubble-graphs.
Using the software Hans Rosling gives frequent key-note lectures on global trends at international meetings, including World Economic Forumin Davos, United Nations in New York and the TED conference in California. His TED talk videos from 2006 & 2007 have been viewed by millions on the Internet and he has received several awards for his teaching in Global Health and Development. In 2007 Google acquired the Trendalyzer software from Gapminder.
This enabled Hans Rosling to start Gapminder Studio in Stockholm for production of evidenced based webcast videos on global development trends and to expand Gapminder World, a free web service with understandable statistics on global development on the Internet. During some months in 2007-2008 he was visiting researcher at Google in California. He presently works 10% as professor at Karolinska Institutet and 90 % as Director of Gapminder Foundation in Stockholm and is member of the Global Agenda Councils of World Economic Forum.
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