Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics


Details of seminars and events relevant to Usher Institute staff and students.

There are many seminars and events taking place that are organised or hosted by, or likely to be of interest to, Usher Institute staff and students.

Some of these are listed below. 

Please note many seminars/events require registration to ensure there is space - please contact event organisers if in any doubt.

June 2017

Population Health and Ageing in Developing Countries with Robert Cumming

Date/Time: 16 June, 12:30-13:30

Venue: Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, Usher Institute, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

Speaker: Bob Cumming MB BS MPH, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Sydney

Populations are getting older everywhere in the world, with the most rapid population ageing occurring in Asia. Population ageing leads to two epidemiologic transitions: an increase in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) followed by an increase in cognitive and mobility impairment. Developing countries are starting to address NCDs but the health problems of extreme old age have largely been ignored. This talk will provide an overview of the impact of population ageing on health and health systems in developing countries, illustrated with case studies from Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar and Uganda.

Note: Lunch will be provided from 12noon, so please ensure you confirm your attendance for catering purposes!

Organised by: Selina Bairami, PA to Professor David Weller,

Molecular Epidemiology Group seminar | The genetic architecture of Male Pattern Baldness

Date/Time: 21 June, 12:30-14:00

Venue: Usher Room, Usher Institute, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

Speaker: Nicola Pirastu

Organised by: Stela McLachlan,

Usher Institute SocSci seminar | Legalities and the (Re)Making of Traditional Medicines

Date/Time: 27 June, 13.00-14.00

Venue: Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, Usher Institute, Old Medical School, Teviot Place

Speaker:  Dr Emilie Cloatre, Kent Law School 

This talk explores what the making of the boundary between ‘real’ and ‘fake’, ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’, in the context of traditional healing can teach us of the relationship between law and medicine. It argues that as law and biomedicine have grown to share common understandings of the nature of knowledge, and in turn shared views on how it can be proven or attributed, they have come to act as converging colonizing forces that displace and alter 'other' forms of knowing and ordering. In turn, even as regulatory systems set out to recognize some forms of traditional medicine, they often continue to operate on assumptions that disqualify knowledge, products, and actors that do not resemble their biomedical counterparts. An effect is to leave traditional healing systems potentially having to either operate outside the law, or adapt to it by transforming themselves beyond the point of recognition to fit better into the systems provided by law and biomedicine.

The talk makes two main arguments. First, that some of the assumptions about medical knowledge-making that law has embedded are both potentially problematic and performative, reshaping the future of healing systems as they set out to regulate them and limiting further possibilities for alternative epistemologies. Second, that the role that law plays in those movements, and in the constitution of the real and the fake, the genuine and the pseudo, are not just incidental to broader market forces, but rather there is a particular strength to the relationship between law and biomedicine, as joint tools of power and governance, that both reifies and hides from view processes of assimilation in knowledge production. As legal systems look to ‘regulate better’ the complex fields of traditional medicine, they rest on the only tools that the law has developed to determine truth and fakeness in medicine: those of biomedicine itself.

All are welcome with no need to register.

Organised by: Martyn Pickersgill (

July 2017

Edinburgh Napier University | Ethnography in the Shadows:  Conducting Research among Hidden Populations

Date/Time: 12 July, 13.30-14.30

Venue: LRC5, Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh Napier University

Speaker:  Dr Miriam Boeri, Associate Professor of Sociology, Bentley University, USA

The seminar will appeal to anyone with an interest in qualitative methods, particularly ethnographic work, drug use, stigma and gender.

Register: Anne Whittaker

* If you are hosting a relevant seminar or event and it is not listed - please email*


Distingushed Speakers Seminar Series

The Distinguised Speakers Seminar series at the Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics is organised by Professor Raj Bhopal, Bruce and John Usher Professor of Public Health.

Events will be advertised here on the website, with their own dedicated Event pages.

Previous seminars in the series:

For further information, contact Brenda Saetta on

Events from across the College 

The College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine website includes a list of events happening across the College, including the prestigious Inaugural Lecture Series.

College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Events

Elsewhere in the University

For details of other seminars around the University, please see the University of Edinburgh Seminar Site.

University of Edinburgh Seminar Site