The theme of the 21st edition of this International Symposium that will be held in Brazil is the 24-hour society, this is, the uninterrupted availability of services and products in several large cities worldwide. A large number of people ensure every night the continued provision of healthcare, public safety, water and sewage treatment, refuse collection, energy production, telecommunications, oil extraction, food production, and convenience stores, among other activities.
The Symposium will address the cost of this situation, which is not merely financial, but also concerns the health and the social and family life of individuals who work while most of the community sleeps. This cost and the approaches to minimize it according to the scientific state of the art are the main focus of the Symposium.
The scope of the Symposium ranges from fundamental biology to the repercussion of the 24/7 society on everyday life.
The Symposium belongs with the field of Occupational Health and focuses on several sectors of the economy such as energy production and distribution, water and sewage treatment, electrical networks maintenance, oil production and distribution, petrochemical industries, and high technology companies, besides services essential for the health and safety of the population. This conference interests both scholars and companies, since the state of the art encompasses the main problems arising from this type of organization of work, as well as intervention proposals to reduce its negative effects.
This Symposium is organized every two years since 1969. It is sponsored by the Working Time Society affiliated with the International Commission on Occupational Health. This is the only international meeting whose central theme is the organization of shift and night work. The importance of this subject in global terms is manifested by the wide diversity of countries that have already hosted this Symposium in Europe (Germany, Norway, Italy, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Netherlands, Bulgaria, France, Scotland, Austria, England), Asia (Japan), Australia and North America (USA).
This is the second time that this Symposium will be held in South America; it was also hosted by Brazil in 2003, when it was coordinated by the same team that will organize the 2013 edition and that comprises researchers from the University of São Paulo and Fiocruz.
In 2013, there will be four presentation modalities: thematic sessions, oral sessions, posters, and workshops for practical discussions on work schedules and the health and safety of workers.
The ever-increasing number of studies presented in recent years makes patent the global demand for discussions on this subject. Furthermore, the choice of Brazil as this Symposium seat will reinforce the Brazilian research groups by means of exchanges with specialists in this field. It is worth to emphasize the significant contribution of studies performed in Brazil in the 2003 edition (26 presentations), which serves as indicator of the scientific critical mass already active in the country.