Medicine Men Go Wild star to speak at Science Gallery

14 Nov 2011

Dr Alex van Tulleken, during his humanitarian work

Dr Alex van Tulleken, the star of the Medicine Men Go Wild TV series, will give a lecture on drought, conflict and the manipulation of water access at the Science Gallery in Dublin this coming Thursday.

Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Science Gallery are presenting the talk from 6-7pm on 17 November 2011. Admission to the event is €5.

Dr van Tulleken’s lecture, ‘Drought, Conflict, Development and the Manipulation of Water Access’ will look at the fact that although water is probably the single most important factor in saving life and preventing illness, it is often used to manipulate vulnerable populations and can be used as a weapon of war.

Van Tulleken, who starred in the Channel 4 series Medicine Men Go Wild with his identical twin brother Chris, will speak about the relationship between water and humanitarian medicine.

Since qualifying as a doctor nine years ago, van Tulleken has worked in some of the most remote and hostile environments on earth, including Darfur, Congo, the Amazon and the high Himalayas. His main interest is humanitarian medicine: attempting to deliver healthcare in war zones or areas hit by natural disasters. He has worked for humanitarian medical agencies, including Merlin, Doctors of the World and the World Health Organisation in many humanitarian crises, spending much of 2010 in Darfur.

On his combination of humanitarian work and filmmaking, van Tulleken said today he is motivated to help marginalised populations that have no access to healthcare or to basic services, using TV as a visual medium to convey what’s happening in these stricken regions.

“Within those activities there’s a kind of medicine that’s exciting enough for you to watch on network television, and it’s extremely important to me to raise awareness of these issues,” he said.

Van Tulleken is currently the Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow at Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, and is editing the first edition of the Oxford Handbook of Humanitarian Medicine.

This talk is part of the SFI Speaker Series at Science Gallery, a series of talks featuring some of the world’s most inspiring scientists and science communicators.  

Science Gallery is an initiative of Trinity College Dublin, and is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Google, Dell, ICON and PACCAR, in addition to Government support.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic