Medical Humanities Lecture Series: David Yager

David Yager, the dean of the arts at University of California, Santa Cruz, will present “The Case for an Unusual Collaboration: Artist-Designer, Physicians, and Nurses” at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 13 in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum (600 S. Gregory St., Urbana) as part of the Medical Humanities Lecture Series.

The event is free and open to the public, and is sponsored by the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology and the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH). 

The Case for an Unusual Collaboration: Artist-Designer, Physicians, and Nurses 

This talk will focus on collaborations of both medical and non-medical academics, students, and members of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Children’s Center clinical faculty and staff. Specifically, the talk will be broken up into three different parts: 1) Noise in the NICU—This case study will focus on the unusual level of noise inherent in NICUs around the world. The talk will outline the discovery process, our mistakes, and the ultimate solutions that address the complexity of the noise problem. One discovery revealed that noise cancellation was not the ultimate solution for newborns. 2) Hand washing in the hospital—Why do healthcare workers, family members, and friends all forget to wash their hands in the hospital? I will explore the phenomenon of human habits, and the effectiveness of measuring the right data that have a real impact in changing human behavior. 3) Pediatric pain management using virtual reality—I had a hard time believing the truth when a neurologist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center told me that I don’t actually feel my back pain. Yet, while observing a very precise, therapeutic environment (i.e., pediatric medicine), I wondered if we could reduce the need for pain medications as part of the standard of pediatric medical care. 

David Yager is an active collaborator, artist, designer, technology leader, Distinguished Professor, and Dean of the Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In all his endeavors, Dean Yager has collaborated with scholars, industry experts, and students in engineering, medicine, physical and biological sciences, social sciences, humanities, the arts, and design. Dean Yager has co-published with and been an advisor to the National Academy of Science on the confluence of art and science. He is currently working on establishing a first-of-its-kind Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the founder and director of the Innovation and Design Lab, the Center for Art, Design, and Visual Culture, and the Imaging Research Center at UMBC, and was president of a publicly-traded technology and user-focused company.