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Sean Gourley

Co-Founder and CTO, Quid

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LIVE CHAT With Sean Gourley: What are some of the lessons from war we can apply to other human endeavors? June 17, 2PM EDT

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow Sean Gourley

Sean is a physicist and military theorist who is using data, maths and visualizations to help us understand the nature of modern war. He asks," What are some of the lessons from war we can apply to other human endeavors?"

This conversation will open at 2:00PM EDT, June 17th, 2011

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  • Jun 17 2011: It's only slightly relevant, but there have been huge advances in medical and trauma research arising from any of the major conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries. There's a nice review on it in Science magazine - http://www.johnbohannon.org/NewFiles/JC2RT.pdf - but it holds true, and there have been major paradigm shifts in how we treat critically injured trauma patients, which wouldn't have come about except for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
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      Jun 17 2011: One of the interesting data points about war today is that the kill vs. injury ratio generally holds fairly steady at 1:3 i.e. there is 1 person killed for every three injured. This ratio has held for a long time. But now as we look at data from Iraq we see that for US soldiers it has changed to about 1:9. This is due to an asymmetry in health care technologies. Though it will be interesting to see if this advantage lasts over time.
      • Jun 17 2011: The ratio has changed alright, and this is largely due to stablisation of the injured personnel at or near the frontline, then evacuating them to the second tier, tertiary centre - mainly to the LARMC in Landstuhl, Germany. It'll also be interesting to see if this translates to prehospital care of the injured patient in non-conflict environments, much the same way as innovations from the Vietnam war were incorporated into EMS care after that conflict. Hopefully some lives can (indirectly) be saved with the data.
      • Jun 17 2011: That advantage does then raise the question of what we do with all the injured vets. Especially in a political environment where DAV benefits are under attack.
        • Jun 17 2011: Yes, care of the injured patient after the acute phase - neurorehabilitation, reintroduction into society and so on - is a huge part of any well designed civilian trauma pathway. I'm not sure how big a part it plays in the care of returning military personnel.

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