From the Editors
Drug Delivery Georgia Lockwood-Estrin
With thirty thousand deaths still occurring from vaccine preventable diseases, Dr. David McIntosh discusses the issue of effective administration of vaccines and improving immune response, arguing that, from a health policy perspective, both effectiveness and possible rare negative effects need to be balanced. On the front line in global health, Prof. Alan Fenwick addresses the delivery of drugs to prevent neglected tropical diseases, which dramatically improve the quality of life of people in the poorest parts of the world. Playing a key role in the complex global process to secure finding and co-ordinate transportation and administration of donated drugs, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative at Imperial College is leading the way towards the World Health Assembly’s goal of eliminating these diseases by 2020.
Virtual Citizen Mohammad Yaqub Chaudhary
With an increasing number of real world activities being conducted in the virtual hyper-connected digital world a conception of the individual as a “virtual citizen” has been rapidly emerging. Social life has been altered in fundamental ways in less time than an individual is born and reaches maturity. The serious implications of these new relationships between individuals, governments, corporate entities and each other have already led to several unprecedented scandals, most prominently, the shocking global surveillance disclosures by Edward Snowden beginning almost exactly one year ago. This section thus addresses some of the most important issues relating to this new frontier of society and the dual nature of its citizens who simultaneously inhabit the physical and virtual world.
Authors Prof. Chris Hankin & Andrew Burton provide an overview on the theme of identity, what it means in the hyper-connected world and changing attitudes towards privacy and anonymity, especially amongst the current generation of youths that have seen online platforms traverse every stage from inception, to user bases that rival nations, to utter obscurity and death, before their own maturity. In this connection, Gerrit Beger addresses how the global youth may be empowered throughout the world by access to information and becoming digital citizens. Richard Stallman, highlights the dangers to democracy of unlimited surveillance, provides several guidelines to ensure privacy in the design of digital systems and discusses the importance of maintaining control of computing power and data in the hands of its users and owners. Dr. Kit Huckvale addresses the emerging field of Mobile Health and Fahdah Alshaikh discusses how the internet has brought about new avenues for Health Research. Finally, Charlene Jennett and co-authors discuss how the internet is changing scientific research in general through research projects that encourage public volunteers to collaborate with professional scientists to conduct new types of scientific investigations.
Jetsetting Nadia Tyler-Rubinstein
Are we already living in the future? One thing that is often depicted in sci-fi or futuristic movies and literature is exciting progress in transport systems. Whether it is self-driving cars, vertical road systems or novel navigating technologies. Prof. Michel Ferreira discusses the future of augmented reality driving systems and how the virtual world can enhance our experience behind the wheel. The future of road transport will also have to deal with a rapidly expanding population. Dr. Andy Chow discusses smart technology to improve traffic flow in urban environments with the view that continued development of new infrastructure will not be a sustainable solution.