Self Destruction: Designed to Fail

Saturday | March 28th 2020

Look around you. Notice what we have achieved: global societies, advanced economies, cutting edge technology. Yet, immersed on our own utopian illusion, we are still distracted from our own reality and still destroying ourselves. 

Year after year we continue willfully to pursue behaviours that harm ourselves as individuals and as a species. Why would someone continue taking toxic drugs, despite their destructive potential? Why would we build magnificent monuments, only to end up bombing them later during war? Why are we still so unsustainable and aggressive towards our own planet, despite our technological advancement? 

In the 11th AIMS Meeting, we are looking forward to discussing some of these questions, since we believe that we can only find our answers once we understand the problems behind them. Join us in March 2020 to find out why we are Designed to Fail, while we explore the motives behind our own Self-Destruction.

Sponsored by:


Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences at Imperial College London, Chair of the Scientific Committee of DrugScience


David Nutt is currently Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Science at Imperial College London. Professor Nutt is one of the most influential researchers on drugs and addiction topics, being famous for his controversial publications concerning scientific evidence of drug use harms and their legal status. He has published over 400 original papers and has held government positions, and is currently the chair of the Scientific Committee of DrugScience. Neuropsychopharmacology is nowadays a rather exciting scientific topic. While addictions are still a major public health issue, we are also witnessing a new phase of psychiatric treatments, with FDA approving esketamine for treatment-resistant depression and granting Breakthrough therapy designation for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. It is impossible to discuss the latest evidence on these topics without mentioning Professor David Nutt, so join us in the 11th AIMS Meeting to know more about these fascinating possibilities.

Dinesh Bhugra, MD, PhD, CBE

Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. Former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, of the World Psychiatric Association and of the British Medical Association.


Dinesh Bhugra is currently Emeritus Professor of Mental Health and Cultural Diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. He is a former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, receiving the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2012 following his 3 years of service. He became the first UK-based psychiatrist being elected President of the World Psychiatric Association, serving between 2014 and 2017. Having received multiple honours from numerous organizations, Professor Dinesh is highly regarded as one of the most crucial international names of Cross-cultural Psychiatry and has developed significant scientific, medical and social work concerning Migrants and Refugees’ Mental Health. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers and edited 30 books and more than 90 book chapters. Furthermore, he is also well-known to a broader audience, being a commentator on mental health issues to The Guardian, the New York Times, The Times, The Observer, amongst many others. Reflecting his ability to influence social a political decision through psychiatric and medical sciences, he led on developing a Bill of Rights for people with mental illness, which was launched at the House of Lords in 2016. We are still facing today a migrant a refugees crisis, which is a direct consequence of war and of how destructive humans beings can be. It is impossible to empathetically discuss this issue without mentioning Professor Dinesh Bhugra, so do not miss this unique opportunity to discuss it directly with Professor Dinesh on March 28th in the 11th AIMS Meeting.

Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH

Director of the Global Health Institute, Professor and the John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Jonathan Patz is a current Professor and John P. Holton Chair in Health and the Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also directs the Global Health Institute. With an extensive career in the medical, research and academic fields, he is one of the world’s lead experts in Global Health and Environmental Health, continually striving to divulge his research to his students, policy makers and the general public. His research and interests include climate change, infectious diseases, urban air pollution and public health, having written over 90 peer­‐reviewed scientific papers and co-edited books on these subjects, and having received multiple awards for his work. For 15 years, Patz was a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), leading to him being a co-laureate of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Patz has occupied both national and international organizational positions, having served as Founding President of the International Association for Ecology and Health, briefed both houses of Congress, served on several scientific committees of the National Academy of Sciences and also co-chaired the health expert panel of the U.S. National Assessment on Climate Change. Being one of the biggest issues of this century, Climate Change will bring new and challenging problems for our health.

The 11th AIMS Meeting Organising Committee regrets to inform you that Sir Simon Wessley will no longer be attending.

Scientific Committee

Pedro Morgado, MD, PHD
Samuel Pombo, PHD
Ricardo Baptista Leite, MP, MD, PHD

Psychiatrist at Hospital de Braga, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Neuroanatomy and Clinical Communication at the School of Medicine, Minho University, Neurosciences researcher member of ICVS/3B’s and Vice-President of School of Medicine, Minho University.

Clinical Psychologist at Hospital de Santa Maria (Lisbon) and Assistant Professor of Medical Psychology and Introduction to Mental Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon.

Member of Portuguese National Parliament (Social Democratic Party), Scientific Coordinator of Public Health at the Health Sciences Institute of Catholic University and Assistant Professor at NOVA Medical School and at NOVA Information Management School (NOVA University Lisbon).