Looking Forward to ICRP 2021+1
An Interview with One of the Program Committee Members
The 6th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection (ICRP 2021+1) will be hosted by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), and the Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA). And it will be in Canada!
ICRP 2021 was scheduled to take place in November 2021, but it was postponed due to the pandemic. The meeting will take place November 7 to 10, 2022, in Vancouver, BC.
We interviewed ICRP 2021+1 program committee member Brian Ahier to find out what is in store for us. Here is what he had to say.
What makes ICRP 2021+1 such an attractive event?
ICRP 2021+1 will bring together the international radiological protection community to launch the discussion on the evolution of the radiological protection system. As it is being held in Canada, this will be a unique opportunity for the Canadian radiation protection community, including young professionals, to fully engage in these discussions, to learn from international experts and experience, and to share our expertise and insight.
As a member of the program committee, what do you think attendees have to look forward to at ICRP 2021+1?
The program committee has been actively planning the symposium (including discussing and setting the themes, topics, and formats), from keynote speakers to technical sessions and innovative poster presentations, all with a view to ensuring an engaging and stimulating event. Attendees can expect a breadth of topics that will be of interest, speakers who are global experts in their fields, and stimulating discussions. Given the overarching theme of the symposium—Radiation Protection: The Next Generation—I think attendees can look forward to an event that is truly thought-provoking and forward looking.
What are you most looking forward to?
Beyond the opportunity to engage with the broader radiation protection community, I am looking forward to hearing from international experts on topics that are of interest to me (such as review and refinement of the fundamentals of radiological protection and optimization) and involving young professionals. I am particularly interested in hearing and participating in the conversation and thinking that these topics will generate.
What are you looking forward to discussing with others? Why is this important to the radiation protection community or the system of protection?
Given my work with Health Canada, which is the federal department responsible for helping Canadians maintain and improve their health, one thing I am looking forward to is the discussion on broadening the optimization of protection. The department deals with a broad range of health-related topics, including areas such as drugs and health products, environmental and workplace health, food and nutrition, health science and research, not to mention its role in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The place of radiation protection in the broader discussion on public health, and the intersection between radiation health sciences and broader public health policy, is therefore of particular interest and importance to me.
What topic(s) do you think will generate the most discussion?
That is really hard to predict, but I think the topics that will generate the most discussion are those that will help signpost the evolution of radiological protection, such as the review and refinement of the fundamentals of radiological protection, the number of topics on optimisation, low dose science and implications, and learning from experience. I would also expect good discussion around involving and engaging young professionals.
What do you think are the biggest challenges in radiation protection the next generation will have to face?
As noted above, radiological protection is one topic within the broader discussion of public health. One of the challenges is how radiological protection fits in a broader discussion on optimization in public health. Also, I think we will continue to face the ongoing challenge of clear and consistent communication to the public and stakeholders, and managing misinformation.
What do you think the next generation of radiation protection will look like (in 10 years or so), and what changes/innovations do you think it will bring?
That is another thing that is hard to predict, but I think changes will be driven by an increased understanding of low-dose sciences and their implications, the ongoing discussion on broadening optimization, and learning from experience.
Is there anything specific you would like to say to encourage the radiation protection community to attend ICRP 2021+1?
Seize the opportunity to be part of a conversation that will lead us toward the next generation of radiation protection!
For more information about ICRP 2021, visit the website.
Une entrevue avec un membre du comité de la programmation pour CIPR 2021+1
Le 6e Symposium international sur le système de protection radiologique (CIPR 2021) devait avoir lieu en novembre 2021, mais il a été reporté en raison de la pandémie. L’événement (CIPR 2021+1) se tiendra maintenant du 7 au 10 novembre 2022 à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique. Dans cette édition du Bulletin, nous avons réalisé une entrevue avec Brian Ahier, membre du comité de la programmation de CIPR 2021+1 pour savoir ce que le Symposium nous réserve.
Brian received his BASc and MASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto. In 1991, he joined Health Canada’s Radiation Protection Bureau, where he has worked in the areas of radiation protection and nuclear emergency management. In 2005, he accepted a five-year posting with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency, working in areas of international nuclear emergency management, occupational exposure, and the evolution of the radiation protection system. He was appointed director of the Radiation Protection Bureau in 2012. Since 2020, he has served as acting director general of the Environmental and Radiation Health Sciences Directorate, Health Canada.
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