The Istanbul World Forum - Highlights
Hans Rosling (b.1948 in Uppsala, Sweden) is Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. From 1967 to 1974 he studied statistics and medicine at Uppsala University, and in 1972 was at St John's Medical College, Bangalore. He became a licenced physician in 1976 and from 1979 to 1981 he served as District Medical Officer in Nacala in northern Mozambique.
On 21 August 1981, he discovered an outbreak of a formerly unknown paralytic disease and the investigations that followed earned him a Ph.D. degree at Uppsala University in 1986. He spent two decades studying outbreaks of this disease in remote rural areas across Africa and supervised more than 10 PhD students. His research group named the new disease konzo, the local designation by the first affected population. Outbreaks occur among hunger stricken rural populations in Africa where a diet dominated by insufficiently processed cassava results in simultaneous malnutrition and high dietary cyanide intake .
His research has also focused on other links between economic development, agriculture, poverty and health in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He has been health adviser to WHO, UNICEF and several aid agencies. In 1993 he co-founded Médecins sans frontières in Sweden and he is since 2005 member of the International Group of the Swedish Academy of Science. At Karolinska Institutet he was head of the Division of International Health (IHCAR) from 2001 to 2007. As chairman (1998-2004) of Karolinska International Research and Training Committee he started health research collaborations with universities in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. He started new courses on Global Health, co-authors a textbook on Global Health and promotes a fact based world view.
He co-founded the Gapminder Foundation together with his son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund. Gapminder developed the Trendalyzer software that converts international statistics into moving, interactive and enjoyable graphics. The aim is to promote a fact based world view through increase use and understanding of freely accessible public statistics. His lectures using Gapminder graphics to visualise world development have won awards by being "humorous, yet deadly serious." The interactive animations are freely available from the Foundation's website. In March 2007 Google acquired the Trendalyzer software with the intention to scale it up and make it freely available for public statistics.