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January 24, 2020 52 min
Today my guest is Adam Dunn an Associate Professor in the Centre for Health Informatics at Macquarie University. Adam his team use informatics and social media data in their clinical research related to public health. Informatics - the structure, behaviour and interactions of natural and engineered computational systems - is very much related to the idea of a single butterfly flapping its wings to potentially create a hurricane on the other side of the earth. In this episode we explore complex systems and the sweet spot between chaos and perfect harmony. We look at information avalanches, cryptography and algorithms and what all this means on a practical level: for example, factors that influence how a bushfire travels over the Australian landscape or how human diseases spread throughout a population. Adam discusses modelling patient safety in hospitals and how he and his team aim to improve health behaviours and health literacy. They use large-scale data from news and social media to track anti vaccine sentiment and the correlations with vaccine coverage in a particular geographic region. Adam and I explore how the public takes up both evidence and misinformation and also how marginalised communities might be better represented in public health research with the use of large-scale data. Links:
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