It is curious how life often brings us back to places once well-trodden but then lost to us for one reason or another. Last week I was in Stockport. I have a vivid childhood memory of my mother taking me by train to have my broken arm re-set and put in plaster in the hospital … Continue reading A trip down memory lane makes me think Stockport is the perfect place to begin a coup ‘data’
On Wednesday a consortium of 15 research funders and Universities UK led by the Wellcome Trust published its report 'Factors affecting public engagement by researchers.' The Wellcome Trust launch website is here and the report itself can be found here. It's an important piece of work; a 'state of the nation' commentary on public engagement activity across … Continue reading Public engagement in research must break through its rose-tinted glass ceiling #engage_2015
The Wellcome Trust have this morning put out the results of a very interesting study about public understanding of antibiotic resistance. The research by Good Business found that people struggle with what the term 'antibiotic resistance' means, and are more comfortable with alternative terms such as “drug-resistant infections” or “antibiotic-resistant germs." Also that, because of the … Continue reading We need to get personal about ‘antibiotic resistance’ if we want the public to help fight infection @wellcometrust
Two posts in one day! Ah, those were the days when we got two Post Office deliveries a day.... Just to say the Government has published the full terms of reference for its Innovative Medicines and MedTech Review to be headed up by Sir Hugh Taylor who is currently Chair of Guy's and St Thomas's. Yes, that's … Continue reading Government pushes forward with review to speed up availability of innovative medicines and treatments
Today the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Medical Research holds its summer reception in parliament. This annual event has become an important fixture on the health research calendar. The 'great and the good' assemble to focus on a key issue of the day and to network. At some point in proceedings they will be addressed by … Continue reading Spend £1 on cancer research and get 40p back every year: what’s not to like?
There's a big push on #patientdata at the moment. Leaflets explaining how patient data will be shared in the future are being stuffed through people's letter boxes. This is part of an initiative called 'care.data.' Medical research charities have meanwhile funded a national newspaper advertising campaign exhorting the benefits of sharing patient data for research. The … Continue reading Musings on #patientdata and: ‘the moral case for public involvement in research is dead, long live…’
Today NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) has called for a radical change in public attitudes and behaviours towards organ donation.The public have been asked to respond to NHSBT's new strategy. This asks people to consider some tough questions such as whether registered organ donors should go to the front of the queue for organ donation ahead of … Continue reading Leadership, and a strategy transplant from NHSBT would do the patient data debate no harm
It being half-term you can never have enough travel games on hand. Current favourites for me are: a) guessing who will be the new Director of the Wellcome Trust and; b) thinking of a name for the body created if you merged all the current Research Councils into one. I did apply for the former … Continue reading ‘Best left alone’ is not the motto we want for our health regulators
Yes, we are positively swimming in data these days. And I don't about you, but I'm looking forward to doing some data-linkage with family and friends over Christmas and the New Year. From a Government point of view, making best use of the data which is routinely collected by departments, public agencies and others, linking … Continue reading Data, data everywhere…new report, plus NIHR’s achievements in 2012
It has been in the works for a not inconsiderable amount of time. A slow burner if you like. So it somehow seems fitting that the first flames should flicker almost unnoticed. Yesterday, Research Fortnight's Adam Smith wrote about a new mental health research charity to be launched next year with a hefty £20 million … Continue reading Comment piece: New mental health research charity springs from an unlikely quarter #mentalhealth
I spoke at the Clinical Discovery 2012 conference yesterday about the future value and impact of clinical research. This is one of a number of similar events I've presented at over the last month or so. On reflection there generally seems a more 'upbeat' conversation among conference-goers about clinical research in the UK compared to this time last … Continue reading GSK’s Witty remarks are easy to swallow from a patient perspective but the rest of the flock must follow
From The Economist in New York, a short but interesting piece on the growing collaboration between charities, pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the US to bring new drugs to market. More specifically it looks at the 'venture philanthropy' model being adopted by charities there to support clinical trials. I'm not quite sure I'd characterise it as … Continue reading Spirit of ad-venture shown by charities in funding drug research or a sign of desperate times?
Good Guardian blog yesterday giving a lay summary of the 'open access' debate vis a vis papers published in scientific journals. There's also been a healthy exchange of letters in The Times this week but ironically that's behind their paywall. However, at least The Times is available in all good newsagents at a reasonable price. Unsurprisingly, I … Continue reading The public interest argument must extend beyond open access…here’s a sort of lay summary
If only petrol was as plentiful a resource as public attitudes. There is no end to the extent to which we can mine what the public thinks about this, or that. Occasionally a survey will hit a rich seam of information and insight. Then again, so numerous are those who are drilling into the public mindset nowadays, that I … Continue reading A few more ‘£s’ and I’ll be opening my own Wellcome Collection…just keep those surveys coming
The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) together with Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust have this afternoon published their response to the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the press. See first item listed under 2012 on this page at the AMRC website. The submission makes good points and I learnt … Continue reading Charities wade in on Leveson and media reporting of science
They say in football that the league table never lies. Fans and players may begrudge a decision or two, or feel that luck did not go their way in a match. But even the most ardent supporter will accept their team's league position after than final game as a true reflection of how good they … Continue reading Who would come top in your league table of public engagement in science? And who would you relegate?
As a self-confessed member of the worried well, I ask that people think carefully before they throw strange words at me. Particularly on the day of a regular visit to my 'prescription-happy' doctor. A colleague asked me this morning how my interregnum was going. It sent me into a momentary panic. Is it treatable I … Continue reading Flying in the face of an interregnum
So the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee has this morning published its latest report about the building of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) in London. THES has a report here. The Committee seems rather oddly to have raked over old coals in its questioning of whether London is the most … Continue reading Committee gets a Crick in its neck about UKCMRI
It is International Clinical Trials Day today and The Cochrane Library has worked with the UK Medical Research Council's Network of Hubs for Trials Methodology Research to produce a set of new podcasts about clinical trials - well worth a listen. There was a conference in Vienna this morning organised by the European Clinical Research … Continue reading International clinical trials day and a bit of mopping-up
I was unable to get to the Wellcome Trust Image Awards last night so as recompense I am posting the link to the online gallery of winning photos. The picture of the kidney transplant by David Bishop from UCL Medical School is my favourite and got a special award. This also gives me an opportunity … Continue reading Wellcome Trust Image Awards 2011…and kidney disease survey