Hans Rosling: Epidemiology for the Bottom Billion

2011 Annual Pumphandle Lecture
Epidemiology for the Bottom Billion - where there is not even a pump handle to remove!

Hans Rosling

video by Adrian Cousins/LSHTM

Professor Hans Rosling trained in statistics and then medicine at Uppsala University in Sweden, receiving his medical degree in 1974. After further training in public health at St Johns Medical College in Bangalore, India, and in international aid and disaster relief, and in nutrition and tropical medicine in Sweden, he worked as a District Medical Officer in northern Mozambique from 1979 to 1981. While in Mozambique he came across a new disease, called "konzo" by local people, to which he devoted ten years of research, tracking outbreaks of the disease in poor rural areas of five countries of Africa. His collaborations ranged from economics to plant genetics, and traced the causes of the disease to a combination of malnutrition and high dietary intake of cyanide from natural toxins in bitter cassava roots.

He taught postgraduate courses at Uppsala from 1983 to 1996, and then moved to a professorship at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, where he was Head of the Division of International Health from 2001 to 2006. Over this period he developed a unique method of presenting data on complex patterns and trends, for which he has become internationally famous, and which he has presented to many audiences, including at the UN, the Davos World Economic Forum and TED lectures. He now divides his time between the Karolinska and the Gapminder Foundation which he set up with his son and daughter-in-law, developing the gapminder.org website which is visited by more than 2 million people annually. He was listed as one of 100 leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2010.