S T Lee Lecture

The science that dares not speak its name

21 August 2018

Technology assessment, broadly defined as the evaluation and monitoring of relative effectiveness and cost in health care delivery, began with Archie Cochrane's Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services published in the same year as the speaker's birth in 1972. Since then the field has built on theoretical foundations drawn from epidemiology and economics, found popular expression in the evidence-based practice movement and translated into the everyday work of agencies such as UK NICE, Thai HiTAP, US PCORI and Australia's PBAC, TGA and MSAC. As the field has developed and become inextricably integrated into decision making, however, the chorus of charges against "rationing" even "death panels" from vested interests and the body politik is coming to a deafening crescendo.

In the current anti-elitist climate where the postmodern fluidity of truth and facts is taken to an unprecedented level, I posit that the underpinnings to this evaluative science would require a fundamental rethink if it were to survive the present existential challenge. I illustrate the evolution of the field with examples in mammography screening and diabetes care and conclude with a possible set of transformative responses for the future.

Please join Professor Gabriel Leung as he delivers the 2018 S T Lee Lecture.

Professor Gabriel Leung

Professor Gabriel Leung is the fortieth Dean of Medicine (2013-), Helen and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health and Chair of Public Health Medicine at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). A specialist in public health medicine, Leung's interdisciplinary work revolves around topics that have major population health impact locally, where Hong Kong is a reliable and unique epidemiologic sentinel for China, or where the SAR is best placed to address the fundamental science at hand globally.

Leung is one of Asia's leading epidemiologists, having authored more than 450 scholarly papers with an h-index of 55. His research defined the epidemiology of two novel viral epidemics, namely SARS-CoV in 2003 and influenza A(H7N9) in 2013. He also led Hong Kong government's efforts against pandemic A(H1N1) in 2009. Leung leads several large-scale longitudinal cohorts tracking tens of thousands of lives to study the fundamental causes of non-communicable conditions and to explain the health impacts of contemporary social phenomena.

His team is the government's health accountant and projects health care human resources needs into the future. Regionally, Leung has tirelessly worked to build capacity throughout the Asia Pacific.

Lecture Details

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

5.30 pm – 8 pm (including a cocktail reception at conclusion of the lecture)

Seminar Room, Level 6, Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney

Price Free


About the S T Lee Lecture
Seng Tee Lee

The S.T. Lee Lecture is named for Seng Tee Lee, a business executive and noted philanthropist. Dr Lee is director of the Lee group of companies in Singapore and of the Lee Foundation.

The University of Sydney, by way of a gift, established the S.T. Lee Lecture Fund in 2008 to invite a distinguished scholar and/or practitioner on the subject of contemporary health policy to deliver an annual lecture. Preference is given to individuals who have expertise in or knowledge about health policy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Previous Lectures

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  • 2017 - Professor Chia Kee Seng, Founding Dean and Professor in the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
  • 2016 - Drs Kalipso Chalkidou M.D., Ph.D., Director, Global Health and Development Team, Imperial College London, and Yot Teerawattananon M.D., Ph.D., Founding Leader of the Health Intervention and Technology Assessment Program (HITAP) & Senior Research Scholar of Thailand’s Research Fund.
  • 2014 - Karen Eggleston, Stanford University, Faculty Director, Asia Health Policy Program, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center' Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.
  • 2013 - Professor Soonman Kwon, Dean of the School of Public Health, Seoul National University (SNU), South Korea
  • 2012 - Professor Kai Hong Phua, AB cum laude SM (Harvard), PhD (LSE), National University of Singapore
  • 2011 - Professor Robert Beaglehole, Emeritus Professor, University of Auckland
  • 2010 - Professor K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India
  • 2009 - Dr. Tikki Pang, Director, Research Policy & Cooperation (RPC/IER), World Health Organization