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Influencing NHS decision making: modelling for urgent and emergency care

I’m on a journey to influence NHS decision making using mathematical modelling at a strategic level. My aim is to support local policymakers on what services to provide, where and with what capacity, particularly regarding the provision of urgent and emergency care. The obstacles I’ve encountered on this journey have been numerous but overcoming them has led to new relationships, a better understanding of the structures within the NHS (see the diagram below). Continue reading →

Black holes, theoretical physics and Ada Lovelace…

It has been an exciting twelve months for those of us working on Einstein’s theory of gravity, general relativity. In November 2015 we celebrated the centenary of the publication of Einstein’s general relativity paper. Just a few months later, we learnt that one of the great predictions of his theory, gravitational waves, had been discovered by the LIGO experiment. Gravitational waves are ripples in spacetime. Continue reading →

Keep the home fires burning: Rekindling the Flame with the French and British nuclear test veterans

I explore the lives of international nuclear communities, discovering the human and cultural experiences and impacts of ionising radiation to individuals and societies. My current major research project with the University of Southampton is called Nuclear Families and provides an in-depth investigation into the lives of the British nuclear test veterans and their families. Continue reading →

‘Pristine’ landscapes haven’t existed for thousands of years

What is natural? What is artificial? It is often assumed that natural is better than artificial. Getting back to nature is something we should aspire to, with kids in particular not spending enough time in nature. But if you want to escape civilisation and head into the unaltered wilderness you may be in for a shock: it doesn’t exist. New research now suggests that there are practically no areas that have escaped human impacts. Continue reading →

People with learning disabilities build their own support amid cuts

A recent report by Mencap has revealed that due to cuts to day centres, nearly a third of local authorities have closed day services to adults with learning disabilities in the last three years. This has resulted in 1 in 4 of these adults now being stuck at home. While not a panacea, day centres were important sites for meeting friends and learning new things, albeit in often restrictive, inflexible settings. Local authorities cite the use of personal budgets as an alternative. Continue reading →