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Wollongong forum discusses emerging bionic and medical devices

IF healthy debate and a general interest in health and technology is your thing, here’s an opportunity to have your voice heard at an upcoming forum in Wollongong concerning emerging bionic and medical devices.

The Clinical Trials for Nanobionics forum on Saturday September 22 is seeking participants to take part in discussions about the clinical trials, experimental use and regulation of devices that would be implanted into the body to treat conditions such as epilepsy, hearing loss, Parkinson’s disease and visual impairment.

Dean of Arts and Professor of Philosophy at University of Tasmania, Susan Dodds, also heads up the Ethics program at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science and is the driving force behind the event.

“While in the past the emphasis has been on trying to inform members of the community about new technologies, this event seeks the active engagement and participation of those who attend to discuss with the other participants their thoughts, concerns and hopes ,” Professor Dodds said.

“We will ask participants to consider a range of current and emerging bionic devices and nano-medicines and the process used in testing these devices and medicines prior to their use as standard medical care. We aren’t entering into the day with expectations about what those issues or questions will be, we want to hear from the participants!”

Discussions between the 60 active participants including academics, bionic device recipients and those with a general interest in the field, will take place at the Innovation Campus in North Wollongong.

“Wollongong is an ideal location for this event, its size and diversity means that there is an opportunity to draw on a good cross section of the community, it has a large regional hospital and it houses an important research hub for clinical research and nanobionics at the University of Wollongong. Not only will we be able to draw on participation from the wider community, but we will also be able to involve some leading researchers in the event,” Professor Dodds said.

“This will be an opportunity for participants to talk about and learn from others in a practical way about developing nano-technologies and about medical research. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the ways these are done in the future.”

Those who value active citizenship and engagement in public debate are encouraged to register for the event, a detailed knowledge of bionics or nanotechnology is not required. Lunch is included. Register at nanobionicdevicesandclinicaltrials.eventbrite.com.au

About Mick Roberts

A newspaper journalist, writer and local historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in the Sydney and Illawarra regions of NSW for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides authoring a number of history books, Mick has owned and operated several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limted), Sydney based, City News, and is now with Torch Publications.

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