Invitation to a Public Lecture on Research Lessons from Risky Business

Royal Society of South Africa and the Academy of Science of South Africa invite you to a free public lecture by Professor Andrew Argent, Head of  the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Cape Town and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital entitled Research lessons from Risky Business.

Abstract: Some years ago, a group in London initiated the “Risky Business” meetings.  The aim of those meetings was to: “organise and run conferences and courses to improve safety and outcomes in healthcare and other high risk industries through sharing experiences and ideas between those who operate in risky environments such as business, emergency services, exploration, sport and healthcare. Learning how to manage risk, harness innovation, improve teamwork and leadership are vital ingredients in achieving these goals.”

After participating in some of these meetings, I was struck by the fact that research (certainly in the medical environment) is a “risky business” in many regards.  Medical research is expensive and may involve substantial risk to many groups of people; despite the best of intentions there is significant error; fraud does happen; and the outcomes often fall short of what we would wish.  All too often what is published is actually wrong. 

In this presentation, I will try to apply some of the lessons learned in the “risky business” conferences and presentations to the world of medical research.  There are perhaps areas where we could deliberately improve the environment and make the research environment a little safer.  

About the Speaker

After undergraduate training (MBBCh), and postgraduate training (specializing in Paediatrics) in Johannesburg, Andrew Argent moved down to Cape Town to train in paediatric pulmonology and critical care.  At the end of that time he was appointed as a specialist at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, and he has stayed there since then.
Andrew Argent is currently head of the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Cape Town and the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.  He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Advanced Life Support Group in the UK, Associate Editor of the journal, Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, and a member of Editorial Advisory Board of Intensive Care Medicine
His interests include many aspects of Paediatric critical care including the “pathway to care”; quality and safety; appropriate allocation of scarce resources; respiratory disease; severe infections in children; care of cardiac patients; neurosurgical intensive care, Simulation training and International Training programmes in Paediatric Critical care.  Since 2012 he has been involved with organizing “Risky Business” meetings in South Africa, and has become increasingly fascinated at the process of trying to reduce risk within healthcare.

Date:     Wednesday 20 March 2019

Time:    17h00 (Tea will be served from 16h30)

Place:    South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) Auditorium, Observatory Road, Observatory*

*Directions to SAAO Auditorium : From the N2, turn off to the M57 – Liesbeek Parkway; turning in the direction of Cape Town and continue until the traffic lights with Hartleyvale (hockey and football) on your left. Turn right at traffic lights into Observatory Road, pass the River Club; the S A Astronomical Observatory is next on the left. Once through the security gates bear left following the SALT signs to the auditorium i.e. last building on the left (white with stoep & ramp).