Conference Summary

Panel Discussion
Panel Discussion

On Saturday 19th November, CASE presented our flagship KnO₂wledge 9 Conference, which this year was about the future of exploration class missions including the potential role of doctors.

Taking over a packed lecture theatre at the Institute of Sport and Exercise Health, students, doctors of all grades and general public interested in Aerospace Medicine listened to our great speakers.

The day started with Dr Beth Healey, who discussed her year at the Antarctica as part of her mission for ESA. Antarctica is an excellent extreme environment analogue for space travel where a lot of multi-organisation research takes place. It was fascinating to hear about her experiences including the sheer logistics of such an ordeal.

Prof Simon Evetts spoke next about the new UK initiatives in Aerospace Medicine Research & Development. He highlighted several upcoming research opportunities currently under development. The future is certainly bright following Tim Peake’s mission.

Dr Varsha Jain, who is one of the pioneers of women’s health in space, then discussed the physiological and practical challenges of gender differences in space.

Professor Mark Wilson spoke about neurosurgery and the potential physiological issues of microgravity and the brain. Our very own Dr Kevin Fong gave a wonderful and inspiring talk about exploration class missions; why we do it, how we can do it and where it might lead us?

After lunch, Dr Pete Hodkinson and Dr Bonnie Posselt gave a fascinating insight into the newly recognised medical speciality of Aviation and Space Medicine. Pete is a pioneering locum consultant in this specialty while Bonnie is a specialist registrar.

Finally, Dr Claudia Stern who is the lead medical officer at DLR in Germany. She regularly meets European astronauts, is familiar with ESA flight surgeon and astronaut training and recruitment process, and is currently working on the research gaps in Aerospace Medicine.

The conference was a great exchange of information, ideas and a source of inspiration for the next generation.