Lindsay Hogg, a science communicator turned public health researcher at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (SPHSU) in Glasgow, is out to give people the means to assess health evidence for themselves. Katherine Nightingale talked to Lindsay about developing a toolkit to do this, and what it’s like to cross the divide into research.
We’ve all seen the newspaper headlines. “Banish high blood pressure with beetroot”, or “People who eat cheese never get diabetes”. These might be fanciful examples, but they reflect an important issue — how are people supposed to tell whether what newspapers say about health is accurate?
One way might be to look at the original research paper for themselves. But knowing what to look for once you’ve got it in your hands is another matter. This is where Lindsay Hogg’s toolkit will come in.
“More and more patients and the public are doing their own research about health. People are reading stories in newspapers, they’re looking online and they’re accessing primary research material, particularly people with a health condition who are looking for ways to manage it,” she says. Read more