The earlier you notice that something is beginning to happen, the more effective your intervention will be to reduce its impact
Professor Nigel Lightfoot, CBE
Over the last month Professor Lightfoot has travelled widely – to the US for CDC Atlanta’s International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases (http://www.cdc.gov/), to Brussels to give the keynote presentation for the Kangaroo Group in the European Parliament (http://www.kangaroogroup.eu/), to Geneva for the World Health Organisation (http://www.who.int/), to Berlin for the Robert Koch Institute (http://www.rki.de/) and most recently to London, in preparation for the Bio-Security event he will be running at Chatham House in May (www.chathamhouse.org/).
Professor Lightfoot’s approach to these different projects has been united by one theme – prevention; this first news update and three following posts will explore both the specifics of his recent consultancy work and the high-level concept of preparedness. It is of great value to understand what has happened in the past and work towards better investigation and detection strategies, but Professor Lightfoot is interested in one stage further – how governments, companies and individuals can work together to create processes and design intelligence gathering systems with enough resilience to prevent a problem from developing in the first place.
In other news: Professor Lightfoot has been invited by the European Food Safety Agency to speak about early alerting for food and feed safety issues and has a trip to the United States on the horizon. He and his team have also been following the recent HN51 controversy with interest and recommend a particular press report from the Guardian – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/28/bird-flu-mutant-strains.
Next Up: Focus on CDC Atlanta