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School of Global Affairs and Ethox Centre launch new research hub

The new hub will unite researchers worldwide to exchange ideas and knowledge

King’s College London’s (KCL) School of Global Affairs and the Ethox Centre in the Nuffield department of population health at the University of Oxford have partnered to launch a new research hub.

The new hub will unite researchers worldwide to explore research subjects including bioethics, sustainability, health policy and ethics of technology.

Recognising the ever-growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and digitally enabled health, as well as the growing desire to consider environmental sustainability, the Sustainability, Health, AI, Digital technologies and the Environment (SHADE) hub will be used to exchange ideas and produce knowledge among researchers.

Currently, the digital sector produces a significant carbon footprint of between 2.1% and 3.9% of all emissions and generates large amounts of electronic waste, which contains hazardous materials that pose serious health risks.

Situated within the department of global health and social medicine in the School of Global Affairs, the new hub received £2.5m in funding from the King’s Climate and Sustainability Fund at KCL to stimulate new research on climate and sustainability.

Formed in September, SHADE’s founding members are already working on several projects and have a global membership that comprises academics and societal actors, as well as policy members, non-governmental organisations, health systems and patients.

“SHADE’s research agenda aims to address current challenges while maintaining a critical eye on promised solutions,” said Dr Federica Lucivero, co-director of the SHADE research hub.

The hub aims to promote interdisciplinary enquiry to understand sustainable practices situated in geographical and societal contexts through normative and solution-based research.

Dr Gabrielle Samuel, co-director of the SHADE research hub, said: “Considering the environmental sustainability of digital health requires more than quantitative accounting of greenhouse gas emissions.

“It requires navigation of complex environmental lifecycle assessments, balancing among different priorities,… working with uncertainties and ambiguities, accounting for considerations of environmental justice, and exploring pathways for the co-alignment of digital health and the environment.”


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