The British Science Association has today announced that Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham will take over as President of the Association.
Lord Darzi is Co-Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation, one of Imperial College London’s six Global Challenge Institutes. He holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at the College, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. He is also Executive Chair of the World Innovation Summit for Health, a global community dedicated to capturing and disseminating the best evidence-based ideas and practices in global healthcare.
“I look forward to working with them this coming year to take forward discussions about how we reduce inequalities in healthcare and in access to research and public engagement.” Prof Ara Darzi Co-Director, IGHI
The year-long honorary role will begin on 1st September, when Lord Darzi will take over from Professor Alice Roberts. Later in September Lord Darzi will give a virtual Presidential address, during which he will hold an ‘in conversation with’ session with journalist, writer and broadcaster Samira Ahmed.
The discussion will cover the COVID-19 pandemic; what has gone well and what could be improved, and the implications for scientists, policy-makers and the public for the future. It will also explore his experience at the interface of science and politics and his passion for convergence science – the blending of different scientific disciplines to accelerate research and discovery.
Lord Darzi said: “I was pleased to be asked to take up the Presidency of the British Science Association at a time when healthcare and scientific innovation is at the forefront of the public, media and political agenda. The BSA plays an important role both in engaging under-served audiences and in convening leaders, policy-makers and opinion formers across sectors to take ownership of discussions on science that have an impact on people and society.
“I look forward to working with them this coming year to take forward discussions about how we reduce inequalities in healthcare and in access to research and public engagement.”
Innovator and pioneer
Research led by Lord Darzi aims to transform the quality of safety of care through evidence-based innovation. He is a world-renowned pioneer of minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery and co-founded Imperial’s Hamlyn Centre for robotic surgery, where he is co-director. In 2002 Lord Darzi was knighted for his services to medicine and surgery and last year, he received one of Japan’s most prestigious awards in recognition of his contributions to global health and the development of medicine in Japan.
“We are honoured to be welcoming Professor Darzi as our next President. He has been at the forefront of innovation, not just in healthcare and surgical advances, but in health policy and systems too." Katherine Mathieson Chief Executive, BSA
From 2007 to 2009 Lord Darzi served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health, before taking up the role as the United Kingdom’s Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences until 2013. It was during this appointment that Lord Darzi became a leading figure in the field of global health policy and innovation.
Katherine Mathieson, Chief Executive of the British Science Association, said: “We are honoured to be welcoming Professor Darzi as our next President. He has been at the forefront of innovation, not just in healthcare and surgical advances, but in health policy and systems too. He has an interest and expertise in reducing inequalities and on critical public engagement issues such as privacy, ethics and security.
“The issue of health inequalities has been brought into sharp focus by the Coronavirus pandemic; and we recognise that the science sector is inequitable, like the society it is part of. These dual issues will be key drivers for the BSA in the coming months and years, and we are extremely privileged to have the opportunity to have Professor Darzi as our President as we look to develop the BSA’s strategy for 2021 and beyond.”
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