Sydney uni gets its whole-earth hat on


A world-first appointment catalyses new interdisciplinary approach.


Intrinsic links between human health and the environment are the focus of new collaborative research.
Intrinsic links between human health and the environment are the focus of new collaborative research.
Diogo Salles / Getty Images

The University of Sydney, Australia, has launched a unique program called Planetary Health to aid the fight against climate change and boost our planet’s health.

This is part of a larger agenda, which was a result of a joint commission between the Rockefeller Foundation in the US and British medical journal The Lancet.

Kicked off in 2015, the exercise produced a report that found while humans were living longer and were healthier than ever before, the improvements had come at a great cost to our planet. The report concluded that because humans and the environment are intrinsically connected, we stand to lose the gains made in health and lifestyle if we continue to degrade the Earth.

And so the Planetary Health plan was hatched.

At the University of Sydney, the plan will see open collaborations between various health, environmental, and agricultural research institutes.

In pursuit of these objectives, Tony Capon has been named the world’s first Professor of Planetary Health. With his team, he will perform informative multidisciplinary research; support undergraduate and postgraduate students to find answers to our environmental problems; and bring about real change in policy, industry and within communities through active leadership and engagement.

For more details, see here.

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Geetanjali Rangnekar is a science communicator and editor, based in Adelaide, Australia.
  1. http://www.thelancet.com/commissions/planetary-health
  2. https://www.rockefellerfoundation.org/our-work/initiatives/planetary-health/
  3. https://sydney.edu.au/research/centres/planetary-health-platform.html
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