Keynote: Dr Kevin Fong, OBE
There is a new rhythm to our lives. In the digital age, the pace of progress is exponential, the clocks we depend upon are nestled in microchips, beating billions of times each second. 90% of all the information ever generated was created in the last two years. All of this means that technology is getting better and faster all the time. With that comes new capability in every corner of our lives touched by the digital revolution; even medicine is slowly being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
But with this capability comes uncertainty too. New technologies become obsolete at a rate never before seen, and with that the skills and businesses involved in their manufacture. What can we in medicine expect of the future? Where should we set our expectations and how should we prepare ourselves for our lives and careers in this brave new world? In a world full of machines that learn and computers that get faster at an exponential rate, what will be left for the humble humble human in the loop to do? In this talk, Dr Kevin Fong takes us on a journey from the breathtaking capability of the present into a future that is increasingly hard to predict.
Dr Kevin Fong has worked as a doctor with NASA and currently flies as part of a helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) crew in the UK. As a front-line emergency physician, his expertise lies in understanding teamwork, risk management and decision making under extreme pressure. With degrees in astrophysics, medicine and engineering, he is also something of a renaissance man. Having worked with NASA’s human space flight programme in Houston, Dr Fong also has a unique perspective on science, technology, exploration and the limits of the human body which he has brought to life in his incredible talks inspiring a global audience at both public and corporate events. In 2015, he delivered the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lectures.
Dr Kevin Fong has also brought his expertise to both television and radio. He co-presented ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What it Takes’ and ‘Operation Goldrush’ with Dan Snow. He wrote and presented ‘Space Shuttle: The Final Mission’, ‘To Boldly Go’ and several Horizon programmes including ‘We Need to Talk about Death’, ‘Cyber Attack’, ‘Back from the Dead’ and ‘How to Avoid Mistakes in Surgery’. He presented Channel 4’s ‘Extreme A&E’ and his radio documentaries include ‘Game Changer: Fortnite’ and ‘Trauma Medicine: The Fight for Life’ on BBC Radio 4. As an author, Dr Kevin Fong has written ‘Extremes’ which won an American Association for the Advancement of Science Award (AAAS) in 2015. He was awarded an OBE for services to science, medicine and healthcare in H.M. The Queen’s 2019 birthday honours.