A pair of spectacles can cost just $2. An eye test and fitting can take just 30 minutes.
So why are over 700 million people suffering from poor vision?
An international study by the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia and South Africa, and Johns Hopkins University in the US reveals that lack of access to basic optometry services is costing US$202 billion each year.
The research is published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation.
Also in this bulletin:
- Twenty seven years of coral loss on the Great Barrier Reef
- Dates for the Fresh Science 2012 National Final
- Inside the synchrotron
- Australia’s other great telescope complex
Simple eye care would save billions
An international study by the Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia and South Africa, and Johns Hopkins University in the US reveals that lack of access to basic optometry services is costing more than US$200 billion each year.
The international study found that millions of people are unable to access simple eye care to correct vision impairments. The problem exists even in wealthy countries including Australia, despite it being possible to provide glasses for as little as US$2 each.
The study found that a one-off global investment of US$28 billion would provide more than 700 million people with glasses, saving unnecessary economic loss.
The investment would enable greater workplace output and increase gross domestic product.
Researchers from Australia’s Brien Holden Vision Institute in Australia and South Africa, and Johns Hopkins University in the US led the study, which is published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organisation this week.
For photos and more information, go to http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/media-releases/restoringsight
The full article is available online here: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/10/12-104034.pdf
Twenty seven years of coral loss on the Great Barrier Reef
Yes, it’s old news now.
But the research team are available for follow up interviews about the future of Reef and about the villains of the piece – the crown of thorns starfish.
If you didn’t get a heads-up on embargo either from us or from the Australian Science Media Centre, and you would like to go on our embargo list please let me know.
Can we save the Reef by controlling crown of thorns starfish?
The Great Barrier Reef has lost half its coral cover in the last 27 years. The loss was due to storm damage (48%), crown of thorns starfish (42%), and bleaching (10%) according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences yesterday by researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) in Townsville.
“We can’t stop the storms but, perhaps we can stop the starfish. If we can, then the Reef will have more opportunity to adapt to the challenges of rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification, says John Gunn, CEO of AIMS.
“This finding is based on the most comprehensive reef monitoring program in the world. The program started broadscale surveillance of more than 100 reefs in 1985 and from 1993 it has incorporated more detailed annual surveys of 47 reefs,” says one of the program’s original creators, Dr Peter Doherty, Research Fellow at AIMS.
For the full release, including images, video, contact details and info sheets, go to: http://www.scienceinpublic.com.au/marine
Fresh Science 2012
On 15 October we’ll reveal the first of this year’s Fresh Scientists. Chosen from every state and territory they will present their peer-reviewed discoveries to the media.
Last year we heard about smart bandages, the sawfish saw, printable solar cells, wallabies immune tricks, ocean arteries, backward planets and more.
Now in its 15th year, Fresh Science is a national event which brings together scientists, the media and the public.
A selection of 12 bright young scientists are selected and supported to be ambassadors for science in Australia.
The program is designed to:
- enhance reporting of Australian science
- highlight and encourage debate on the role of science in Australian society
- provide role models for the next generation of Australian scientists.
The Fresh Science 2012 National Final will be in Melbourne from 15-18 October.
For more information and details of previous winners, their press releases and media coverage, go to: http://freshscience.org.au/
If you’d like us to keep you up to date, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Physics open days:
Friday and Saturday: Siding Spring Observatory Open Days
The Siding Spring Observatory will host annual open days on October 5 and 6. Visitors can speak with astronomers, look through telescopes, observe the sun and listen to talks. Entry is free. There is more information online here.
Sunday 14 October: Australian Synchrotron Open Day
The Australian Synchrotron will open to visitors. Synchrotron scientists and machine operators will be on hand to explain how the synchrotron works, and there is also a range of children’s activities. Book a self-guided tour or a 15-minute overview called ‘Synchrotron for Dummies’.
Entry is free but bookings are essential.
More info and bookings at: http://www.synchrotron.org.au/index.php/news/events/australian-events/event/103-2012%20Open%20Day
Annual Prime Minister’s Prize for Science to be announced in Canberra
As mentioned last bulletin, the Prime Minister will announce the winners of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Science prize in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra, with an the embargo of 5pm on Wednesday 31 October.
We’re helping with the media program for the prizes, and we’ll have profiles, photos and HD footage available after the ceremony.
There are five prizes:
- The $300,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science and
- The $50,000 Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
- The $50,000 Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year
- The $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Science Teaching in Primary Schools
- The $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence for Science Teaching in Secondary Schools.
To find out more about the prizes and past recipients, click here.
If you need to know who’s winning this year drop me a line. We welcome the opportunity to brief longer lead-time publications.