Social media and medical research, a story from Oz

I am in international mood today.  From the United States to Australia.  Unfortunately not via Hawaii. This was sent to me this morning and it’s basically a report of a paper appearing in the Journal of Internet Medical Research about the viability of using social media in medical research. Interesting snapshot discussion around the pitfalls – i.e. […]

Social care research opportunities

We don’t talk nearly enough about social care research.  I sometimes wonder whether we have ‘over-medicalised’ the health research agenda at times, so that all we shout about are new medicines and treatments – me included.  It is a trend that seems counter to the needs of our society and also the changes in the […]

Share your experience of public involvement in research: INVOLVE 2012 Conference call for presentations

  Doing this remotely so apologies if this doesn’t work/come out very well: INVOLVE 2012: Putting people first in research Conference call for presentations is now open Our eighth biennial INVOLVE conference will take place on 13th and 14th November 2012 at the East Midlands Conference Centre in Nottingham. The conference will bring together members of the public, service users, researchers, research […]

Science at the Conservative Party Conference

Two down, one to go.  Here’s science related ‘matter’ at the Conservative Party Conference which starts in Birmingham tomorrow. Birmingham University was of course the venue for the Science Minister, David Willett’s, first speech after taking office.  I am looking forward to being one of the hosts when he joins us for a roundtable breakfast […]

Unfinished business – clinical research

There has been much to dwell upon since our workshop for member charities ‘Clinical research – working with NIHR’ a fortnight ago. This is the fourth workshop on clinical research that AMRC has held in as many years.  Each has attracted more delegates than the one before – a fact indicative of the increasing interest among […]

Patient consent and research

A colleague in the office sent me a link this week to a piece by Professor Anthony Mathur on the BBC Online’s ‘Scrubbing Up’ pages in which he argues that if people want treatment for a heart problem, they should be obliged to take part in the research.  The very same day I got home to a […]

'Health research cuts'

Today’s ‘exclusive’ in the The Times online headlined ‘Cancer research at risk in scramble for care funds’ has caused understandable concern and outrage.  It is an interesting piece based on comments made to The Times by the Secretary of State for Health, Andy Burnham MP.  But some background may help us get a better perspective on […]

A Wellcome round-up to the research week

While the Home Office struggles to recover from its Nutt allergy the rest of us have been busy funding and promoting good science. Our communications officer, Sara, tells me that if I use more searchable terms in my blog headlines I will get more visitors.  ‘What, more than the million or so I receive each day?’ I said.  Anyway, […]

An Open Letter to David Cameron

Dear David, I was pleased to read your speech at the Royal College of Pathologists earlier this week setting out your vision for the NHS and your five priorities for a Department of Public Health were you to form the next Government.  Many us will be pleased to see you and your front bench colleagues […]

Dialogue by numbers

I am writing this while sitting in a cafe in the exhibition area at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. Such are the wonders of modern technology! Gordon Brown’s speech is over and the crowds have more or less dispersed. All the action has moved to nearby tv and radio studios where the debate will […]

Research of rare quality

The Government’s Office for the Strategic Co-ordination of Health Research (OSCHR) will at some point in the next few months publish its ‘National Ambitions’ for health research.  Since communications has never been one of OSCHR’s strengths it has been close to impossible to discern quite what this thing will look like, if and when it […]

Not another article about partnership

The term ‘partnership’ is now scattered liberally through the narrative we all use for the way in which we work – either as organisations or as individuals.  The highly inventive among us occasionally substitute it with  ‘collaboration’ or even the more arcane ‘working together,’ but partnership is in the ascendant in every sense. But I am beginning to […]

Sums and summitry

Yesterday 30 top scientists called for a tripling of Government expenditure on research into dementia – you may have heard some of them being interviewed on news programmes during the day.  Their call was timed to coincide with a day-long summit organised by the Department of Health and Medical Research Council (MRC) which brought together […]

'….and charities'

A huge tome literally fell into my lap this morning.  So heavy was the 151 page brochure from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) that it broke through the botton of the envelope in which it was sent. Coincidentally as I began to flick through its glossy pages this morning, the Office for […]

Continental drift or moving target?

Science would seem to be on the move again. Last week’s reshuffle saw the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) - including the science portfolio – merge with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) to become the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) under Lord Mandelson. Its worth reminding ourselves at this […]

Charities in the recession part 2

I was quite pleased with the media coverage that we got yesterday for our press briefing on the effects of the economic downturn on medical research charities. I felt that we had got the difficult news out but had also managed to convey some positive messages about what our members are doing and what the public and […]