Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Dialogues and diseases

19.12.2005


How can we keep ahead in the battle against infectious diseases? The current threat of avian flu has sent panic around the globe and even in hospitals, where you might hope to be safe from disease, MRSA is a cause for concern in the health service. Sure-fire curses for these conditions seem a long way off and governments, policymakers and the public are often at a loss to know how to respond.



However, a multidisciplinary team of researchers at The University of Nottingham believe they have the answer. Surprisingly, it’s not in the laboratory, but somewhere else entirely. They have recently embarked on a research project to investigate whether the art of communication could hold the key.

Lead researcher Dr Brigitte Nerlich, in the University’s Institute for the Study of Genetics, Biorisks and Society (IGBiS) said: “We know that people are worried, but how we communicate about these risks is crucial.


“How we disseminate news about outbreaks, how we learn about techniques to prevent the spread of the infection and how governments communicate with one another and with the public can all make the difference between sheer panic and being able to contain and control diseases.”

There has been a lot to communicate about recently. Humans, crops and farm animals have all been threatened by new strains of infectious diseases; microbes are often resistant to conventional drugs, and the risk of illnesses which can infect both people and other animals, so-called zoonoses, such as avian flu, are high on the government’s agenda.

Building on an IGBiS programme on biorisk and communication funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this new Nottingham project will study biosecurity, hygiene and cleanliness communication in UK government, healthcare and agricultural policies compared with language used by key practitioners dealing with MRSA and the threat of avian flu, such as modern matrons and poultry farmers.

Dr Paul Crawford, of the University’s School of Nursing and chair of the Health Language Research Group at Nottingham, said: “It is vital to know how to respond efficiently and effectively to such threats, be it in the farmyard or hospital.

“My own background in nursing tells me that sometimes it is as if practitioners and policymakers speak a different language. Once we study the language of all the people concerned, and look at this in relation to policy documents and what’s reported in the press we’ll be able to see if they’re all going to be able to understand one another. If they are using language in different ways it could lead to tensions between policy makers and practitioners, exacerbated perhaps by the way both avian flu and MRSA are reported in the media.”

The study, which is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council and also involves Nottingham’s Professor Ron Carter, one of the country’s leading experts on everyday English, will examine how different agencies formulate issues, construct arguments and prioritise different practices and situated logics.

Collaborating on the project will be colleagues at De Montfort University. Dr Brian Brown, of De Montfort’s School Applied Social Sciences commented: “The work is a far cry away from ivory tower linguistics. It has important implications for how people deal with real world problems. This is a chance for us to show the real value of linguistics. Policymakers will get an insight into how best to ensure that dialogues between government and practitioners on these key issues match up with each other.”

As well as informing government policy on the communication of infectious diseases, the project will also mean that health practitioners in both farming and healthcare will be able to gain an insight into how they, the government and the media talk about ’cleanliness’ and ’infection’ in relation to avian flu and MRSA.

Dr Brigitte Nerlich | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/public-affairs/press-releases/index.phtml?menu=pressreleases&code=DIA-192/05&create_date=16-dec-2005

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Creating a new composite fuel for new-generation fast reactors

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Game-changing finding pushes 3D-printing to the molecular limit

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Could this material enable autonomous vehicles to come to market sooner?

20.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>