To what extent can technology improve our health?

Are organisms resistant to all viruses? How do we detect the smallest, earliest stage cancers? What health-related data should we share with each other? This year, CERN sparks! An in-depth look at what the future of health technology will look like, how we will get there, and what ethical questions we need to answer along the way.

CERN has been involved in health applications of particle physics research since the 1970s. spark! Use this as a starting point to start a dialogue with a wide range of health professionals from different fields. Bringing together great ideas is our specialty, and this year’s podcast, talk lineup and forum are no exception.

What a spark! ?

spark! is a series of podcasts, lectures and forum events organized around specific topics of interest to CERN and society. Its purpose is to inspire connections and diversity of thought and inspire our audiences by sharing the perspectives of multidisciplinary experts.

Listen to the podcast

CERN Sparks! The podcast brings together leaders in their fields to explore the life-changing potential of technology. In our discussion with 2020 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry Jennifer Doudna, we also raised important questions about medical ethics, equity and the benefits of open science; Wellcome Trust Director Jeremy Farrar; “Father of Genomics” George Church; DeepMind’s AlphaFold project research lead Pushmeet Kohli and many others. The six episodes cover topics from the biological revolution to the power of cooperation.

Listen to podcasts on our website or on your favorite audio platform.

Watch the talks

How can we prevent defects, injuries and diseases before they have a chance to strike? What should we be working on together globally? How do we ensure that treatments are shared around the world? How can we prevent the next pandemic?

CERN Sparks! The lecture is divided into two parts: “Healing People”, where a lineup of experts will explore technologies that will enable the future to treat more people with greater precision and shift the mindset from treatment to prevention to keep people healthy, and speakers will focus on researching how to make We move towards never getting sick.

WHO Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan; Jane Metcalf, founder of Neo Life and Wired; and Rolf Apweiler, Director of EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), were also among this year’s high profile guests.

CERN Sparks! The talks will take place on November 17th from 4-7:30pm, live from home via CERN’s YouTube channel, or partner with us to provide high-quality streaming to larger groups – we hope the world Enjoy the lecture! Contact us to organize a viewing for your organization.

Get in touch via the Serendipity forum

How do you cultivate serendipity?

This is the challenge we set for ourselves: to create a space where serendipitous connections and ideas emerge – not only to allow for a conversation around future health technologies, but to incorporate diversity of thought into it.

To do this, following inspiring podcasts and presentations, an innovative forum will take 50 participants on a journey across seven key thematic areas. They will have the space and freedom to discuss topics from multiple perspectives to expand thinking and understanding – an exercise in blue sky thinking.

This also has an academic side: last year’s forum discussions led to the drafting of the CERN Yellow Book, which will be published soon; a similar document will be produced this year. Also, sparks! A summary of the event will be written in collaboration with Frontiers for Young Minds, an open access scientific journal for children, and will be peer-reviewed by 12-year-olds!

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