How climate change affects human health to be discussed at the Bushwakker Brewpub

By Dale Johnson Posted: May 17, 2017 1:45 p.m.

 The Health Pub Science Talk series has proven to be very popular with the public, and attracts big crowds to the Bushwakker Brewpub.
The Health Pub Science Talk series has proven to be very popular with the public, and attracts big crowds to the Bushwakker Brewpub. Photo courtesy of the Bushwakker Brewpub

How climate change affects human health is the topic of the final Health Science Pub Series presentation of the year. The discussion will be held on May 18, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Bushwakker Brewpub at 2206 Dewdney Avenue.

The two guest speakers are from the U of R: Dr. Mel Hart, a lab instructor in Biology; and Dr. Amber Fletcher, an assistant professor in Sociology and Social Studies.

Hart will talk about how climate change means infectious agents may find themselves migrating to new environments and creating new challenges.

Fletcher will look at how climate change has different effects on people relative to their social position.

The Health Science Pub Series is designed to highlight health research at the U of R.

“The intent of the series is to bring together two health researchers doing work around related topics, but from different disciplines and perspectives. Usually this has been someone who does bio-medical or clinical research paired with someone who does social science research in the same area,” explains Dr. Tom McIntosh, Professor and Head of the Department of Politics and International Studies and Associate Director of the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU). He and Dr. Josef Buttigieg in Biology are organizers of the Health Science Pub series.

“Bushwakker’s has been a sponsor of the talks along with the Science Pub series because they see it as an interesting way to help bring the work the university does into the community and show that research has relevance to real life,” McIntosh says.

He says holding the talks at a pub off campus instead of in a classroom means there is an informal and relaxed atmosphere that contributes to getting a dialogue going between the researchers and the audience.

“Nearly every talk has been to a full house and some have been overflowing. There is a very diverse crowd. There are some people who come to every talk. There are new people at every talk. Some are university people. Most are people from a variety of walks of life who are interested in the issues raised in the presentations,” he says. “They ask really sophisticated and thoughtful questions and are really good at drawing the links between what might appear to be very different talks by very different types of researchers. In almost all cases we have had to end the evening before we've exhausted the interest and attention of the audience.”

McIntosh says the Health Science Pub Series is a way to demonstrate three things: “There is serious and important health research going on at U of R; what we do will be of interest to our community if we take the time to show them what we do; and we as researchers can also learn by looking at what our colleagues, who may be in very different disciplines, are doing that relates to our own work.”

Event:            Climate Change and Human Health: Bugs, Floods and Social Inequality

Speakers:      Amber Fletcher, Sociology and Social Studies, and Mel Hart, Biology, U of R

When:            Thursday May 18, 7 p.m.

Venue:           The Bushwakker Brewpub, 2206 Dewdney Ave.

Admission:     Free, but only 50 seats available