Skip to main content

Celebrating Health Festival

Over June and July, the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing will be Celebrating Health Research at Durham University. Our Fellows and colleagues across the University will be offering events for free - we hope you find something that you will enjoy!

June 2023

UK response to the Covid-19 pandemic: the vicious circles, the brilliant science and where science was not enough

3pm, 6th June 2023, CLC013

Christina will discuss how the fundamental nature of COVID-19 transmission and illness led to a vicious circle of repeating waves of infection, disproportionately affecting those in more deprived communities. She will highlight where brilliant science helped to tackle the pandemic but also where it did not – especially when uncoupled from other expertise and responsive policy.

Speaker: Professor Christina Pagel, University College London


Eyes on the Baby: Multi-agency SUDI Prevention in County Durham

1pm - 5pm, 9th June 2023, Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Join us to celebrate the launch of the BASIS report and find out what we've learnt about supporting vulnerable families to stop sudden infant death.


Health Inequalities and the social contract: A bad deal in and for society

11.30am - 2pm, 19th June 2023, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

In this lecture health inequalities in England will be used to explore and question the ‘deal’ (both implicit and explicit) that exists between individuals’ and society.  In England there is a clear and persistent social gradient in health (in, for example, life expectancy and healthy life expectancy) that corresponds with socio-economic status and the social determinants of health. 

Speaker: Jonathan Wistow

Jonathan's research has developed in three fields: health inequalities; climate change adaptation; and post-industrialism and class. In each of these areas he has a strong interest in the application of complexity theory to policy and governance systems and how the political economy functions relative to these. For example, his interest in health inequalities centres on the implications of both methodological and ideological framings for how this issue is understood and addressed. His research in this area focuses on the application of both complexity theory and qualitative comparative analysis to health inequalities and links to broader debates about governance and public policy implementation. 


Unmasking Pain Presents International Yoga Day

2pm - 4.30, 20th June 2023, Botanic Gardens, Durham


Health and Social Theory Research Group Showcase

10am - 1pm, 21st June 2023, CLC406, Derman Christopherson Suite

This half-day workshop will showcase some of the research being undertaken by members of the Health & Social Theory Research Group.
It will comprise three sessions which focus on three key themes of our work – Place, Knowledge and Materials. Talks will be given by Group members from across the career span and sessions will take different formats of short talks, lectures, and a film screening. Colleagues are warmly invited to join us for the whole Showcase but each session is also ‘stand-alone’ with a 10-minute break between for those only able to drop into some of the morning. Lunch and refreshments will be provided and spaces are free.

Ancient Wisdom and Modern Medicine 

5pm - 7pm, 21st June 2023, CLC406, Derman Christopherson Suite

Gain a broad understanding of the approach to health and health care during the Roman Principate (especially the first and second centuries A.D), hear about examples of Roman health care practices being re-examined today and join a group discussion!

Speaker: Dr Nick Summerton 

Dr Nicholas Summerton qualified as a medical doctor in 1984, and has worked in hospital medicine, general practice, public health and clinical research. He has written three books on diagnosis and screening plus a short booklet entitled Medicine and Health Care in Roman Britain. He also has longstanding interests in the Roman world and a specific focus on Ancient Medicine.


Unruly Microbes – Epidemics, Infections, and Ecologies of Change in Historical Perspective

22nd - 23rd June, Durham, UK

From spillover diseases to re-emerging infections to rising rates of antimicrobial resistance, stories of unruly microbes have proliferated daily conversation in recent years. These serious and continuing threats to human and nonhuman health fly in the face of triumphalist narratives of epidemiological transition and global disease eradication. 

More information and registration is available here


Maximising patient benefit from triage policies for scarce critical care resource allocation during periods of intense pressure: an empirically informed systems modelling and simulation study

11.30am - 1pm, 28th June 2023, Zoom, Online 

The Covid-19 Pandemic created “extraordinary and sustained” pressures and in some cases demands for rationing critical resource including intensive care (ICU) beds, medical equipment and health professionals. Advanced systems modelling and simulation approaches can help.

Speaker: Associate Professor Li Ding

Li Ding holds a PhD in Management Science from University of Edinburgh. Her general research interests lie in the application of probability, statistics, and operations research methods to the business problems with specific focus on the problems in operations and supply chain management. Her work published in Management Science, OR Spectrum, Probability in the Engineering and Informational Sciences and the Journal of the Operational Research Society.

Infused by the collaboration with colleagues in the field of behavioural economics and finance, her current work is steering towards the promising research frontier- behavioural operations management/operations research around themes, such as disruption management, social sustainability and channel management under private label. Any potential PhD students are welcome to make enquiries especially if you are interesting in doing research in the field of behavioural operations management/operations research.


Healthy Places, Healthy Brains and the Exposome

12pm - 5pm, 28th June 2023, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

While the study of healthy places and healthy brains are the hallmarks of public health and neuroscience respectively, their intersection, grounded in the exposome, is a fast-emerging field of study.


Live Well with Pain - Beyond Biomedicine

1pm - 5pm, 30th June 2023, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

Long-term pain from whatever reasons affects over 14 million people throughout the UK. Reliance on medication, including opioids, is the mainstay of management and is proving harmful to health for many. The overall aim of the GOTT 10-footsteps to live well with pain self-management project is to equip healthcare staff and other practitioners such as social prescribers who work to support people with persistent pain at a foundational level with fundamental knowledge and skills.

This event will be presented by the Gabapentinoid and Opioid Tapering Toolbox (GOTT) 10-Footsteps and Unmasking Pain Teams


July 2023

Sixth Annual ECR Conference

4th July 2023, 9am-5pm Top Floor Calman Learning Centre

This conference aims to showcase the wide range of Health and Wellbeing research at Durham University and promote interdisciplinary work amongst early career researchers. The conference will include a keynote speaker, presentations, flash talks and posters. All disciplines are welcome and encouraged to submit and attend. Given the recognised importance of interdisciplinary work, talks will be aimed at a general academic audience.  All tickets are free and food and refreshments will be provided throughout the day. 


Alone, Me-time, and Solitude: What do we know and how do we make it better?
5th July 11.30 - 1.30, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

Speaker: Dr Thuy-vy Nguyen

Thuy-vy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her current research mainly focuses on observing people's experiences when spending time alone and understanding personality and contextual factors that predict the quality of their solitude.

​She uses experimental and diary study design to investigate research questions. Her most often go-to paradigm is to have participants sit quietly by themselves for a brief period of time (15 minutes) and observe how they react to that experience. She is looking to explore other data collection methods besides self-reported measures. Specifically, exploring options to use eye tracking to understand attention in solitude and physiological measurements to look at changes in parasympathetic responses.


From the Clap to the Finger! Rhetorical Genres, Audience and Critical Care Nurses During COVID-19

6th July 11.30 - 1.30, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

Hybrid (email for the link)

Here we undertake a message/audience Aristotelian genre-based analysis of Clap for Carers (CfC) the UK COVID-19 public tribute. Initially we identify Clap for Carers as a sonic rhetoric instancing Aristotle’s epideictic genre of praise. Through a longitudinal study with 54 Critical Care Nurses (CCN) we analyse their reception and response to this unique praise-oriented tribute. Reception included appreciative positive emotional responses but also disillusionment and unease with Clap for Carer’s duration and authenticity. 

Speaker: Dr Peter Hamilton

Peter is an Associate Professor in Human Resource Management in Durham University's Business School.

Peter's main research interests focus around the issue of discourse and rhetoric within the processes of employment relations and human resource management. Current activities include work on corporate social responsibility reports, language and industrial relations, and the interview as a research method. Peter's previous appointments include Imperial College Management School and the University of Central Lancashire. Prior to that he worked in the National Health Service.


“From wonderkid to Billy Elliott to a world class academic” - The importance of narrative in understanding and researching the adolescent mental health.

13th July 2023, 11.30 - 14.00, Lindisfarne Centre, St Aiden's College

This award-winning presentation starts as a narrative of a young footballer growing up in the late 1980’s-early 1990’s, in the North East of England. It outlines the highs and lows of a footballer that didn’t quite ‘make it’, with reflection on how the effects of isolation, rejection and failure contributed to, and escalated to almost two decades of undiagnosed mental illness. As the story continues, the presentation considers the role of ‘high performance’ environments such as professional sport, and latterly higher education and how such environments contribute to the mental health challenges faced by young people.  Finally, the presentation considers how positive mental health could be seen as a resource, if better understood by young people and nurtured by others. 

Speaker: Associate Professor Neil Graney

Prior to Joining Durham University, Neil was a Senior Lecturer in Sport Management and Marketing at Teesside University. Neil has also taught extensively at University of Salford, University of Manchester and Northumbria University. With a background in Sport Business, Neil has continuously extended his subject knowledge and teaching across a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, including Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Management.  His research interests include mental health and well-being in elite (sport) organisations and consumer behaviour in sport