Power: The Impact of Energy Generation on Health and the Environment

Sir Kenneth Calman, Chancellor of the University of Glasgow, discusses the nature of the relationship between the means by which power, in the sense of energy, is generated and the implications for health and the environment.

In his speech, Sir Kenneth Calman describes the need we have for energy to function, while at the same time how the means of its creation can cause major problems. This raises issues of risk, and central to the discussion will be climate change. Sir Kenneth Calman states the health consequences are relevant to all of us. It will conclude that human beings are responsible for the now well-recognised changes and effects of climate change. The Anthropocene model, in which the potentially catastrophic impact of climate change can be visualised, will be discussed as part of this. Power, however, has a second meaning, beyond energy, as the way in which change can be effected. Sir Kenneth Calman explains how political and scientific power might be used reverse the effects. He urges us, as individuals, the need to be aware of the problems we are causing and to change our behaviour.


Sir Kenneth Calman

Sir Kenneth Calman is Chancellor of the University of Glasgow. He graduated in medicine in Glasgow and became Professor of Oncology in 1974. He remained in that post for 10 years. In 1984 he became Dean of Postgraduate Medicine and Professor of Postgraduate Medical Education at the University of Glasgow and Consultant Physician with an interest in palliative care at Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow. In 1989 he was appointed Chief Medical Officer at the Scottish Home and Health Department and in September 1991 he became Chief Medical Officer in the Department of Health in London. He was a member of the Executive Board of the World Health Organisation, and its Chairman from 1998-9. He was Vice Chancellor and Warden of the University of Durham from 1998 until 2007. He was a Member of the Statistics Commission from 1999 until 2007. He is President of the Institute of medical Ethics and Deputy Chair of the Board of the British Library. He chaired the Commission on Scottish Devolution 2008-9, and was President of the British Medical Association 2008. He was awarded a KCB in 1996. He became Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland in September 2010. His most recent books are A study of storytelling, humour and learning in medicine and Medical Education: Past present and future He has recently completed research for an M.Litt on Scottish Literature and Medicine and will be publishing a book on this subject in July 2014 entitled A Doctor’s Line. Poems and Prescriptions in Health and Healing.

Sir Kenneth Calman was a Keynote Speaker at The European Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment 2015 (ECSEE2015).

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