Aspen Ideas: Health 2021 - Day 1

4 Speakers

Plenary 1: Full Program

From the impact of music and the arts on the human brain to medical research being done in space, and from preventing the next pandemic to the power of art to communicate important public health messages, this Aspen Ideas Health session features leading experts and innovators across a range of topics.

Music to Our Ears (and Brains): The Arts are Good for Your Health

  • Francis Collins
  • Renée Fleming

From the development of the teenage brain to therapies for neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, a growing body of research is showing how the power of music and the other arts can be harnessed to better understand the brain and improve health. During Aspen Ideas: Health 2021, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, and Renée Fleming, World-Renowned Soprano, discussed initiatives such as Sound Health and the NeuroArts Blueprint, which are driving this promising research forward. Watch their conversation and special musical duet!

We Have Liftoff: Advancing Medicine on Earth Through Research in Space

  • Hayley Arceneaux
  • Serena Auñón-Chancellor
  • Tom Costello

Medical research in space may seem a little… out there. But the antigravity environment has allowed astronauts to conduct health-related experiments and learn about the human body in unique ways to help advance science and medicine on Earth. During Aspen Ideas: Health 2021, NASA Astronaut Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor discussed life and research on the International Space Station with Hayley Arceneaux, a Physician Assistant and cancer survivor, who will soon orbit the Earth as a member of the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission. Watch the conversation, moderated by Tom Costello of NBC News.

Worth 1000 Words: Public Art as a Public Health Communication Tool

Through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, public art has proven to be a powerful tool in communicating public health messages, from reminders about hand washing and social distancing to honoring essential workers and encouraging vaccinations. At the forefront of this creative movement to save lives is Amplifier- a nonprofit design lab that builds art and media experiments to amplify the most important social movements of our times. During Aspen Ideas: Health 2021, Aaron Huey, Founder and Creative Director, explained how the organization’s global calls for art have made an impact and how you can be an amplifier in your own community.

Deep Dive: Structural Racism in Medicine

  • Marcella Nunez-Smith
  • Harriet Washington
  • David Williams
  • Trymaine Lee

Structural racism — produced by laws, rules, practices, and other policies that are sanctioned and implemented — has been a part of modern American medicine from its start. Coupled with structural racism embedded in other social foundations such as residential housing, the result has been unequal health care and poorer health outcomes for communities of color. Watch as the panel of medical and health experts discuss the long and disturbing history of structural racism in medicine and offer solutions for its dismantlement.

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