Title of Presentation

Emergence and complexity in public health

Presenter Information

Lela BrownFollow

Presenter Biography

Lela brings a unique perspective and background of tangible experiences to public health, having pursued many seemingly disparate paths, including working as a journeyman commercial plumber, living as a nomadic herder, and getting a bachelors degree studying the use of narrative in traditional ecological knowledge. They run a small family farm in the city and help run a long term citizen science project documenting wildlife of Mt Hood using animal tracking.

Institution

OHSU

Program/Major

Environmental Health Systems

Degree

MPH

Presentation Type

Presentation

Room Location

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 294

Start Date

April 2019

End Date

April 2019

Abstract

Cyclic and interconnected processes are behind every aspect of life, from weather to gene flow. Many of the areas of highest concern in public health have elements of social and environmental complexity that can not be addressed using reductionist methods, including climate change, health inequalities, and vaccine skepticism. Improving our understanding of complex systems can inform public health analysis and interventions.

A linear view of cause and effect in public health research has limitations, and public health inquiries are still straining to make use of the concept of complex systems. Just outside of the causal pathway are complex interactions of social, natural, and built environments. Some public health approaches have intuitively or explicitly been managing this complexity, and our field can continue to build explicit models and approaches for addressing and understanding things like scale, hybrid systems, feedback loops, emergent properties, and nonlinear processes. Managing public health interventions based on overall rules of complexity can bring communities closer to wellbeing, sustainability, and resilience.

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Apr 3rd, 2:19 PM Apr 3rd, 2:32 PM

Emergence and complexity in public health

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 294

Cyclic and interconnected processes are behind every aspect of life, from weather to gene flow. Many of the areas of highest concern in public health have elements of social and environmental complexity that can not be addressed using reductionist methods, including climate change, health inequalities, and vaccine skepticism. Improving our understanding of complex systems can inform public health analysis and interventions.

A linear view of cause and effect in public health research has limitations, and public health inquiries are still straining to make use of the concept of complex systems. Just outside of the causal pathway are complex interactions of social, natural, and built environments. Some public health approaches have intuitively or explicitly been managing this complexity, and our field can continue to build explicit models and approaches for addressing and understanding things like scale, hybrid systems, feedback loops, emergent properties, and nonlinear processes. Managing public health interventions based on overall rules of complexity can bring communities closer to wellbeing, sustainability, and resilience.