Clearing the Air One Breath at a Time

Lorie Karnath, former President of The Explorers Club, in conversation with Harvard Professor David Edwards, President of Next Breath, founder Sensory Cloud and developer of FEND, aerosol expert

The pandemic which continues to plague much of the world increased our focus on the air that surrounds us. Much has been learned during this period on how airborne viruses are transferred and levels of pathogens that surround us. Poor air quality is the leading cause of death in developing nations. The impact of our air on global health will continue to be a topic of great import impacting daily lives, how we travel and interact with one another and other species. Prof. David Edwards, an expert on aerosols, has thought about ways to help mitigate the effects of poor air quality and has developed a natural cleansing system that helps to protect airways that is known as FEND.

FEND has been heralded by Fast Company as “an idea that will change the world” and TIME magazine according it an award for a best invention of 2020. By capturing and eliminating airborne contaminants before they reach your lungs as well as by reducing the number of contaminants that are exhaled back into the air, this hygiene protocol has been shown to protect against virus transmission and inhalation of other airborne pathogens. This has tremendous implications for individual well-being, as well as how we explore and conduct research in the field, without leaving a trace.

Streaming live on explorers.org, our YouTube Channel, and our Facebook Live!Monday, June 28 at 7:00 pm ET

David Edwards is a scientist, inventor and writer, the Professor of the Practice of Bioengineering at Harvard University from 2002-2019, and since 2019 founder of Sensory Cloud in Cambridge Massachusetts, and Associate in the John A Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences at Harvard University. David has pioneered the science and technology of aerosolized drugs, vaccines, and respiratory hygiene innovations, including the FDA-approved inhaled L-Dopa for Parkinson’s (Inbrija), the South-African-based nonprofit Medicine in Need (inhaled BCG for TB vaccination), and the new respiratory health aerosolized salt product FEND. David’s research on plant-based semi-impermeable membranes, drawing on his early work in applied mathematics, led to the founding of the future-of-food company, Incredible Foods.

In addition to his textbooks in applied mathematics (Interfacial Transport Processes & Rheology, Butterworth 1991; Macrotransport Processes, Butterworth 1993), David has written several books on creativity and the creative process (Artscience, Harvard Press 2008; The Lab, Harvard Press 2010, CreatingThings That Matter, Holt, 2018) that explore the catalytic learning and translational potential of environments that engage the public in artistic and scientific experimental processes, using examples from his teaching at Harvard University and cultural innovation environments he has opened in France (Le Laboratoire, 2007-2014) and the USA (Cafe ArtScience, Senses Cambridge, World Frontiers Forum). David has won many US and international awards, including three-time recipient of the Ebert Award, the Smolchowski Award, the Professional Progress Award, twice TIME Magazine Best Invention Award 2014 and 2020, and the Theodor Herzl Award. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the French National Academy of Engineering, and the US National Academy of Inventors. He is also a Chevalier of Arts & Letters of the French Ministry of Culture.

Lorie Karnath is a founder and president of Next Breath, a charity that aims to bring advances in the cleaning of air emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic to those of the world’s 1.6 billion children most at risk of the health and learning risks of dirty air. Lorie has an extensive background in the not-for-profit sector, finance and fundraising. She is the founder and managing editor of Molecular Frontiers Journal, a globally recognized, open access scientific publication produced and distributed by World Scientific, headquartered in Singapore.

Lorie is also a founding member of the Molecular Frontiers Foundation, hosted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and has conceived and chaired many global symposia on discovery and cutting edge science. She served as president of the renowned Explorers Club, the second woman in the Club’s storied history to hold this position. As an explorer, she has led numerous expeditions including three under The Explorers Club flag. Dedicated to education, Lorie is a board member and the Explorer at Large for Jason Learning and has funded and constructed schools in a number of remote locations. She has authored numerous books on science and exploration.

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