Foresight project The Detection and Identification of Infectious Diseases
About the project:
The Foresight project on the detection and identification of infectious diseases launched its findings on 26 April 2006.
This event marked the formal handover from Sir David King, the Chief Scientific Adviser to HMG, to Lord Bach of Lutterworth, the sponsoring Minister in the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Stakeholders, experts and dignitaries from some 28 countries involved in the project attended the launch.
The aim of the project:
The aim of the project was to produce a challenging and long-term vision for the detection and identification of infectious diseases in plants, animals and humans. This vision took account of: the evolving risk of diseases; changing user requirements for detection and identification; and cutting edge science.
The project objectives were:
- to take a broad look across plants, animals and humans;
- to consider international as well as national issues;
- to look 10-25 years into the future;
- to build upon the best work by others in this area.
The project stimulated cross-fertilisation between different fields of science.
- Reviews of future science: reviews of the state of the art were performed in ten diverse areas of science. These will form the building blocks for new and innovative detection, identification and monitoring systems of the future. They ranged from Earth observation to genomics, and data processing to immunological techniques.
- Analysis of future threats: a starting point was to generate a vision for the future threats of infectious diseases and the factors driving them. This defines the challenge facing stakeholders, and the requirements for future detection, identification and monitoring systems.
- Analysis of societal contexts: the effectiveness of future detection, identification and monitoring systems will crucially depend on their sensitive deployment within different systems of culture and governance, as well as local systems of belief and attitudes. These issues have been explored in several studies.
- Evaluation of future detection, identification and monitoring systems: four classes of future detection, identification and monitoring systems were identified for detailed analysis. The analysis of these considered their costs and benefits against examples of future disease threats. Roadmaps for their realisation were also produced, taking account of barriers and enablers, as well as the societal contexts.
- Action plan: all of the above work has led to the development of a detailed action plan by key stakeholders around the world.
- Finally, because Africa was a key geographical focus for the project, all the Africa related strands of the project are drawn together in a separate report.
See the outputs from the project on the 'Reports and publications' page.
A one year review of progress has been published. (PDF, 331 Kb)
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