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Royal Society of NSW presentation: The COVID Curve in Context: or Back to the Future—something old and something new

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This talk will address two issues: (a) the pattern of health in Australia, and how COVID-19 fits this pattern, and what we can learn from past pandemics in Australia; and (b) why old people die and young people “don’t turn a hair”, and how we can make our airways young again. The talk will also consider why we don’t have a useful vaccine, and what we need to do, and can do, in the future to learn to live with COVID-19.

The talk will be presented by Emeritus Professor Robert Clancy who was the Foundation Professor of Pathology in the University of Newcastle Medical School and a clinical immunologist who undertook research in mucosal immunology and the development of mechanisms to enhance mucosal resistance and control mucosal inflammation. He has a strong involvement in the biotechnology of natural products that maximise mucosal immune competence, protecting against infection, and he maintains a clinic in gastroenterology focused on inflammatory bowel disease.  

Professor Clancy also has strong, longstanding interests in histo-cartography relating to the discovery and development of Terra Australis, and the history of science and medicine, with a focus on epidemics.