The David Bates Lecture is an annual special event held to honour prominent physician in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Dr. David Vincent Bates. Past recipients include C. Arden Pope II (2008) and James Hogg (2010). While the degree of excellence such past speakers exude may seem intimating to follow, Dr. Sverre Vedal did not shy from the challenge and presented his lecture “Air Pollution: How can it be that bad for us?” as he graciously accepted the award for The David Bates Lecture 2012.
With the concept that “exposure to ambient air pollution has been estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year in North America” (Vedal 2012), Dr. Vedal spoke with clarity about the the dangers of this exposure, and outlined his research in how mechanisms that invoke involvement of the Autonomic Nervous System through triggering of airway irritant receptors could potentially explain many paradoxical findings within exposure research. He addressed his audience with the intention of teaching them how to become familiar with the estimated impact of outdoor air pollution on health globally.
In appreciation for Dr. Vedal’s lecture, Dr. Mark FitzGerald presented the special guest with a traditional Coast Salish talking stick carved by a local artist from the Squamish Nation.