Unnecessary overtreatment costs Australia $30 billion per annum. Only 60% of diagnostics and treatments are effective, while 30% is of no or little value and 10% can be harmful. So while medical care undoubtedly provides many benefits to many people, sometimes treatments can be ineffective and sometimes even downright harmful. We could save more than 8,000 kilotons of carbon emissions by scrapping low value care that does not demonstrate any benefit.
As a custodian species of the planet’s ecosystems, we have become disconnected from our responsibilities, attending to the patterns that build the complex web of life. Our activities and waste products are disrupting ecosystems, impacting the reproductive success of other animals. Pharmaceutical waste can persist even in the most remote places on the planet, including Antarctica. But it’s not all bad news, particularly if we pay attention to where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.
Restoring Ecosystems & Recovering Resources – The Royal Society of Victoria’s 2021 Research Medallist
With deep expertise in environmental microbiology and biotechnology, Professor Andrew Ball’s research focuses on developing clean, sustainable technologies to remediate environmental contamination, looking for ways of removing contaminants – particularly petroleum hydro-carbons (oil), but also other organic pollutants – from soils, groundwater and water bodies.
How can textiles quietly heal us? Are wearable medical devices of any use when patients are too stigmatised to wear them? What good is fancy cycling gear that won’t protect the rider? Can we close the loop on global fashion, the world’s second biggest polluting industry? From comfort and style to function and protection, clothing fulfils some of the most basic human needs; but now we’re exploring textiles that can contribute to wound healing, or even become body implants through a next generation recycling process.