For two days, climate change experts, researchers from various social, natural and health-related disciplines, policymakers and agency representatives gathered in Birmingham on invitation of the Living with Environmental Change (LWEC) initiative which has been in existence since 2008 to discuss state-of-the science, policy priorities and recommendations. The conference, entitled ‘Supporting the Road to Adaptation’.
SDHI are holding a further webinar ‘Ageing and compound caregivers of people with learning disabilities’ on Thursday 18th April 2013 at 3.00pm (GMT), led by Elizabeth Perkins, Research Assistant Professor, Florida Center for Inclusive Communities, Department of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavioral and Community Sciences, University of South Florida. For further information please see webinar flyer (Elizabeth Perkins webinar flyer 18 April 2013)
SDHI are delighted to announce their webinar ‘Secondary datasets in disability and health: tools for researchers using United States datasets’ to be held on Thursday 6th December at 3.00pm (GMT), led by Arun Karpur, Research Faculty, School of Industrial & Labor Relations, Employment & Disability Institute, Cornell University, New York and co-presented by William Erickson, Research Specialist, Employment & Disability Institute, Cornell University, New York. For further information please see webinar flyer (Arun Karpur webinar flyer 6 Dec 2012)
The School of Medicine and Biological Sciences at the University of St Andrews are hosting a seminar ‘Let’s get physical: Health benefits of physical activity and approaches to increase, and sustain participation’ presented by Dr Ruth Jepson on Thursday 15th November at 4pm in Seminar Room 2, Medical and Biological Sciences building, University of St Andrews. Ruth is a senior scientific adviser to Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy (SCPHRP) and is mainly interested in promoting physical activity. All Welcome. For further information please contact Dr Gozde Ozakinci (go10 @st-andrews.ac.uk)
Please note that Lisa’s presentation due to be held on Thursday 8th November at 5pm in Lecture Room 4, Gateway Building, University of St Andrews has been postponed.
For further information about Lisa visit www.lisanicoll.co.uk
SDHI would like to remind you of the next in a series of events presented by Lisa to be held on Thursday 8th November at 5pm - ‘Leathered’ – Book presentation and discussion in Lecture Room 4, Gateway Building, University of St Andrews
Leathered is Lisa’s first piece of fiction and is a short novel about choices facing teenagers. The book has been piloted for feedback in St Kentigerns and Bathgate Secondary Schools in West Lothian. The book is to be launched Scotland wide for all secondary schools in 2012 with a general publication to follow
This is a free event
If you would like to attend please contact Rosanne Bell (r.c.bell @dundee.ac.uk)
For further information about Lisa visit www.lisanicoll.co.uk
Among several exciting projects presented to the public on Saturday were studies into loneliness of people with cancer, ways of improving patient feedback, the evaluation of a cancer screening tool, and opportunities to register as a future research participant. Masters of Design students from Duncan and Jordanstone College of Art and Design came along to showcase work on improving communication between patients, their families/carers, and health care professionals, through design. People were invited to show how they would re-organise their GPs surgery for more positive experiences and were asked what they thought was important in helping recovery from a stroke. The program was completed with a performance of the one-woman play ‘Acceptance’ in the Steps Theatre by Lisa Nicoll, a writer, actress and filmmaker. The play is about a woman coming to terms with her reliance on alcohol as a social crutch. Lisa’s work is based upon people’s real experiences, which are researched through her interaction with groups and communities across Scotland. The variety of projects and the time commitment of the staff, is testimony of the commitment of the SDHI and the two universities to sharing knowledge, engaging the public and improving the health, wellbeing and participation of people in their local area and beyond.
On the first day of the conference I reflected on the contrast between the life on the streets of San Francisco and the ‘protected’ and sealed off environment of the conference (how many homeless people got to attend and have a say?). Both so close and perhaps, even connected in content and practice but at the same time worlds apart. This impression stayed with me throughout my days here and was reinforced on the walk from and back to the hotel where a very heteregoneous community of the dispossessed desperately push for some visibility in this world of shiny displays of upmarket jewellery and fashion stores. They are kept outside in the doorways, park benches, gutters and may only find temporary access to the indoor world in a subway, parking garage or overnight shelter. They are shunned, made different, a line is drawn between them and us. Perhaps, the accelerated step when rushing past them, the averted glance, the raised voice to silence their request for a bit of hope in the form of money – perhaps, all this is just our way of maintaining the divide between them and us so that we do not have to confront the reality that they at one point also played a role on our side of the fence. And that our life path could catapult us very quickly into ‘their world’. Now why am I writing this? The point is that we are taking this dividing line into our research. Most public health or other health-related research is still ABOUT people and populations. It is not conducted WITH people who are the immediate stakeholders. Participants in studies are still relegated to being ‘subjects’ in academically pre-conceived studies that seek to fill a gap in the segregated world of evidence-based practice. The number of truly emancipatory and participatory action research projects is ridiculously small. And this approach is frowned upon by many traditional empiricists and frequently rejected as unscientific as the population, the intended outcomes, and the intervention processes may change in the context of the study. BUT, this type of ‘research’ produces immediate change that is driven by the community as the principal stakeholder. It is a research WITH, not ABOUT. To be fair there may have been brilliant examples – and I know there indeed have been – of this way of working at the APHA conference but I would still maintain that very few community representatives could afford participation at the conference. We need more ‘WITH’ in our applied health and social research. There is so much to gain: greater ecological and external validity, buy-in and support of the research from Day 1, more rapid change, fulfilment of human rights on inclusion and the dismantling of the socially constructed fence between ‘them’ and ‘us’.