Luis Kun

Repercussions of Science, Technology, and Climate Changes in the Global Village

We live on a planet where two very different realities coexist. On the one hand, a world driven by the Internet, mobile phones, i-Phones, i-Tunes, i-Pads, i-Pods, high-definition television, the global economy, on-demand medications for depression, cholesterol, erectile disfunction or hypertension.  The other reality, however, shows us a world where 2 out of 3 people do not have access to clean water, where more than 80% of the world population lives on less than 10 dollars a day and where according to UNICEF, in 2021, 5.0 million children died (close to 14.000 per day) before reaching 5 years of age.  Globally, infectious diseases, including pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria, remain a leading cause of under-five deaths, along with preterm birth and intrapartum-related complications. In this other reality, thousands of deaths are produced daily by tuberculosis, AIDS, or malaria. Most of these deaths due to starvation or infectious disease can be prevented.  In the 90s of the last century, the existence of a social problem called the “digital divide” was revealed to draw attention to the great social inequalities that are established between individuals based on the possibility or not of have access to the internet and communication technologies.  Dr. Kun will address different aspects of these two realities, such as the growth of the global population, the interdependence between this growth, the sustainability of peoples (water, food, energy, etc.) in the global economy and the contribution to everything. This is due to the significant increase in the number of natural and industrial disasters, many of them a direct consequence of climate change. Dr. Kun will propose a change in attitude and the need to apply new formulas to face all these challenges. In his opinion, the wars and conflicts of the future will be over water, food, energy, and medicines, emphasizing the importance of cooperation between peoples and particularly the need for education.


Dr. Luis Kun is the (2023 and 2024) IEEE President of the Society on Social Implications of Technology (SSIT) and a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of National Security (CHDS/NDU). Born in Montevideo, he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in Uruguay and holds a BSEE, MSEE, and PhD degree in BME, all from UCLA. He is an IEEE Life Fellow, a Fellow of the: American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering, and the International Union for Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine. He is the founding Editor in Chief of Springer’s Journal of Health and Technology 2010-2020. He spent 14 years at IBM and was the Director of Medical Systems Technology at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. As Senior IT Advisor to AHCPR, he formulated the IT vision and was the lead staff for High Performance Computers and Communications program and Telehealth. In July 1997, he was an invited speaker to the White House and was largely responsible for the first Telemedicine Homecare Legislation signed by President Clinton in August 1997. As a Distinguished Fellow at the CDC and an Acting Chief IT Officer for the National Immunization Program, he formulated their IT vision on 10/2000. Dr. Kun received many awards including: AIMBE’s first-ever Fellow Advocate Award in 2009; IEEE-USA Citation of Honor Award with a citation, “For exemplary contributions in the inception and implementation of a health care IT vision in the US.” In 2009, he was named “Profesor Honoris Causa” by Favaloro University, (Argentina) and in 2013 “Distinguished Visitor” by the City of Puebla, Mexico. He served as an IEEE Distinguished Visitor for the CS and as a Distinguished Lecturer (DL) for the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and SSIT where he chairs the DL Program since 2016. Since 2014, he serves as an Honorary Professor of the Electrical Engineering Department at the School of Engineering of the University in Montevideo, Uruguay. He received in 2016 the Medal of Merit from Mexico’s National Unit of Engineering Associations and was named Visiting Professor by the National Technological University of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2017.

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