I was scrolling through some social media sites and came across a TedTalk called ‘Puppies! Now I’ve got your attention, complexity theory’. In a past post or two I discussed particular TedTalks and how good they are, and today is no different.
The ‘Puppies!’ talk was given by Nicolas Perony who models the movement of animal groups to understand the individual behaviour that guides the behaviour of the larger society. During this he discusses how something complex may not be complicated and that a complex system is made up of many interacting parts that behave according to simple, individual rules. This may sound a bit confusing so I recommend watching Nicolas Perony’s TedTalk which looks at the roosting habits of a bat species and how a group of meerkats cross the road. It’s a very clear, interesting and simple idea.
From watching the above TedTalk I came across another one by Barbara Natterson-Horowitz entitled ‘What veterinarians know that physicians don’t’. I read this transcript because the title instantly pulled me in. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was a cardiologist who would be asked to assist at the Los Angeles Zoo on animal procedures. At some point the realisation came to her that physicians and veterinarians treat similar conditions however, it is rare fora veterinarian to provide information to a physician even though there are areas where they could help. She provides a few examples in her taking, such as the treatment of self-harming in birds or dealing with postpartum depression in horses. Barbara’s passion now is to bring these two worlds together by creating programmes and encouraging a cross over at conferences.
It is a wonderful talk and a topic I admire. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach towards anything is usually more productive and is already used in various areas of science. I had never considered this issue with regards to human and animal medicine but I definitely think it is worth bridging the gap – who knows what advancements could be made?