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Dean of Medicine delivers keynote address at colloquium

Professor William Hart, Foundation Dean of Medicine, Curtin Medical School, was recently the keynote speaker at the 14th International Innovations in Education Colloquium, in Brescia in northern Italy. Professor Hart delivered the Memorial Paola Ferroni Lecture at the colloquium, which was held at the University of Brescia, and the Bellerive Hotel, on the shores of Lake Garda in the town of Salo.

Professor Hart, Foundation Dean of Medicine, Curtin Medical School, giving the keynote speech at the 14th International Innovations in Education Colloquium.
Professor Hart, Foundation Dean of Medicine, Curtin Medical School, giving the keynote speech at the 14th International Innovations in Education Colloquium.
The colloquium was held at the University of Brescia, and the Bellerive Hotel, on the shores of Lake Garda in the town of Salo.
The colloquium was held at the University of Brescia, and the Bellerive Hotel, on the shores of Lake Garda in the town of Salo.

“After a successful talk on ‘Collaboration, leadership and personality’ the conference organisers presented me with a copy of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, a poem on nature,” Dr Hart said.

“Written two thousand years ago, this work – an interpretation of Epicureanism – was lost ’til the 15th century, when a copy was found in Brescia. So far ahead of its time, this work shows how phenomena do not need spirits or gods to explain them, being the movements of nature. One of the things that Lucretius advised was that those of us afraid of death, because of the threat of an eternity of non-existence, should remember that prior to our birth, we endured an eternity of non-existence without any apparent suffering!”

Professor Hart receiving De Rerum Natura at Brescia University.
Professor Hart receiving "De Rerum Natura" at Brescia University.
Professor Hart relaxes after his keynote address.
Professor Hart relaxes after his keynote address.

Dr Hart then travelled to London and met with Professor Stuart Carney, Head of Medicine at King’s College, about the possibilities for collaboration on the place of psychiatry and medical psychology in the modern medical curriculum.

Next stop on the itinerary was Aberdeen, where Dr Hart met with Professor Jen Cleland and Professor Rona Patey, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition in Aberdeen, both of whom have visited Curtin in the past, regarding the selection of students for medicine, and broadening access to improve the probability of producing rural graduates.

“Lake Garda was paradise, London was wet, and Aberdeen – the city of granite – was grey and a very long way away. But it’s all good – including the whiskey!” Dr Hart said.