The impact of western science on today’s society

First and foremost I see myself as a communicator through stories and with my education and training, indeed all my professional life as a surgeon and researcher, this means my stories have a serious science and health bias. 

I witness lives changing in an instant and I strive to bring to that bedside all that modern, or western, science and technology has to offer to reduce suffering. It is in that context that I look with optimism at what our science brings to society. However, maybe we need to stand back and look at our history to understand and acknowledge the foundations upon which this is all built. As we look to space we need our feet on the ground such that we consider the impact on society.

A society is made up of many individuals the majority of whom for the majority of the time, are striving to live in harmony. Science is integrated into all aspects of society from food to communication to energy to health. The impact is significant and undeniable. The societal goal may be continual improvement but the definition of what that is can be elusive. I know that every day people survive burn trauma as a result of the advances in science. The challenge is how we harness the opportunities without compromise.

Professor Fiona Wood

Fiona WoodProfessor Fiona Wood’s journey of over 3 decades treating people with burn injuries is a story about her passion, dedication and belief in striving for excellence to improve the outcomes of patients by bringing science to the bedside.

Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction.

As Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia she is consultant at Perth Children’s and Fiona Stanley Hospitals.

As Director of Burns Research, she leads an interdisciplinary team with broad collaboration focused on translation to improve clinical outcomes.

She has been the recipient of the 2003 Australian Medical Association’ Contribution to Medicine’ Award and an Order of Australia Medal for work with Bali bombing victims.

As a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year in 2004, she received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005.

Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture, now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia.

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