http://www.healthordisease.com

Claire Belcher biography

Claire BelcherClaire Belcher is a Senior Lecturer in Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. As a self-confessed fire starter she uses experiments to understand the role that wildfires play in maintaining the natural balance that makes our planet habitable.

We typically view wildfires as part of the destructive face of nature yet often forget that human harnessing of fire has strongly influenced our social development and success as a species. In a microcosm, what fire has done for human beings, wildfires also do for our planet. Claire’s research seeks to understand how evolutionary innovations in our ecosystems have allowed plants and fire to exist on our planet in relative equilibrium. She is currently the leader of a €1.52 million EU European Research Council funded team. Her approach to studying wildfires is described in her recently published edited book “Fire Phenomena and the Earth System, an Interdisciplinary Guide to Fire Science”. As a recent awardee of the European Commission’s Marie Curie Prize for her work in science communication she says “scientific research isn’t worth anything if it isn’t communicated”.

Fin Williams biography

Fin WilliamsDr Fin Williams is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with a special interest in Perinatal Psychology and the application of Attachment Theory. After more than 11 years of working with children and families in the NHS, she has established Parent Perspectives Ltd, a big-thinking Social Enterprise that aims to support parents in their transition to parenthood, reduce the prevalence of postnatal depression, and improve well-being outcomes for parents and their children. Her vision is to create a more socially, emotionally, and economically connected society by focusing support on the earliest connection that we make: the connection with our parents.

Joel Gibbard biography

Joel GibbardJoel Gibbard lives in Bristol, UK. He was passionate about robotics from an early age and has always been fascinated by technology. In 2011 he achieved a first class honours degree in Robotics from the University of Plymouth, UK. This was in part due to his final year project in which he designed a low-cost prosthetic hand for upper limb amputees. This has now developed into the Open Hand Project; a crowd funded, open source initiative which aims to get amputees using these low-cost devices.

Karima Bennoune biography

Karima BennouneKarima Bennoune is a professor of international law at the University of California–Davis School of Law. She grew up in Algeria and the United States and now lives in northern California.

She has published widely in many leading academic journals, as well as in the Guardian, The New York Times, Comment is Free, the website of Al Jazeera English, The Nation. The topic of her most recent publication ‘Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here’ is a very personal one for her. Her father Mahfoud Bennoune was an outspoken professor at the University of Algiers, and faced death threats during the 1990s, but continued speaking out against fundamentalism and terrorism. In writing this book, Karima set out to meet people who are today doing what her father did back then, to try to garner for them greater international support than Algerian democrats received during the 1990s.

She has served as a member of the Executive Council of the American Society of International Law and on the board of directors of Amnesty International USA. Currently, she sits on the Board of the Network of Women Living Under Muslim Laws. She has also been a consultant on human rights issues for the International Council on Human Rights Policy, the Soros Foundation, the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, and for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Her human rights field missions have included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Fiji, Lebanon, Pakistan, South Korea, southern Thailand, and Tunisia.

She traveled to Algeria in February 2011 to serve as an observer at pro-democracy protests with the support of the Urgent Action Fund for Women’s Human Rights, writing a series of articles about these events for the Guardian. In October 2011, she volunteered as an election observer during the Tunisian constituent assembly elections with Gender Concerns International.

Matt Hayler biography

Matt HaylerMatt Hayler is a teaching fellow specialising in Digital and Cyberculture Studies and Criticism and Theory at the University of Exeter and recently completed his thesis on portable electronic reading technologies, their impact on readers, and the conversations they might relaunch about our interactions with artefacts more broadly.

In his ongoing research, he is interested in the interaction between Cognitive Neuroscience and phenomenology for Humanities research, the impact of digital tools, environments, and cultures, and the reflection of material concerns in experimental literature.

He also works as network coordinator for the AHRC-funded Cognitive Futures in the Humanities research network, blogs at 4oh4-wordnotfound.blogspot.com, and
tweets as @cryurchin.

Patrick Alley biography

Patrick AlleyPatrick Alley is a director of Global Witness and co-founded the organisation in 1993. He took part in Global Witness’ first investigations into the Thai-Khmer Rouge timber trade in 1995. Since then he has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activities. In addition to his involvement in the organisation’s experience of tackling conflict diamonds and the former Liberian President Charles Taylor’s ‘arms for timber’ trade, Patrick focuses on the issue of conflict resources, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and in the past in Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. Patrick also specialises in Global Witness’ work on forest and land issues, especially challenging industrial scale logging and land grabbing in the tropics. In addition, he is involved in the strategic leadership of Global Witness.

Global Witness was jointly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for its work on conflict diamonds, which led to the establishment of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and co-founded the Publish What You Pay Coalition, which in turn led to the creation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Sarah El Ashmawy biography

Sarah El AshmawySarah El Ashmawy is a young Egyptian. She has a BA in Political Sciences and International Law from the American University in Cairo, graduating in 2012 with High Honors. In 2009 Sarah volunteered for the Cairo based NGO ‘Association for Health and Environmental Development’, then in 2010 became part of the newly created Anti-Trafficking Unit at the Ministry of Family and Population.

In April 2012, she joined a team of researchers working on a chapter about the democratic transition in Egypt for a book by the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) Regional Office in Cairo, in cooperation with the American University in Beirut. In September 2012 she became Minority Rights Group International’s (MRG) Program Officer in Egypt, launching the implementation of an anti-religious discrimination program. Since September 2012 Sarah has worked with religious minorities in Egypt to build a strong network advocating for greater religious freedoms in Egypt. She has also worked as a research assistant for the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) on the upgrading of their Social Assessment Manual and as a research assistant for the UNDP working on a synopsis of their Governance Week Conference held in Cairo in November 2012.

She is currently a Masters’ Student at the School of Oriental and African Studies, pursuing a degree in Violence, Conflict and Development, while she continues to be part of the Egypt programme team at MRG’s London office helping to coordinate the Egypt programme liaising between the London team and the Cairo office.

Simon Peyton Jones biography

Simon Peyton JonesSimon Peyton Jones is a principal researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. His research focus is in programming language design and implementation, and the purely-functional language Haskell in particular. He is a founder member and current chair of the Computing at School working group, which has played a central role in the recent reform of the school Computing curriculum.

 

Sonia Livingstone biography

Sonia LivingstoneSonia Livingstone is a professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, and author or editor of seventeen books including, most recently, Children, Risk and Safety Online (edited, with Leslie Haddon and Anke Görzig, 2012), Media Regulation (with Peter Lunt, 2012), and Meanings of Audiences (edited, with Richard Butsch, 2013). Taking a comparative, critical and contextualised approach, Sonia’s research examines the opportunities and risks afforded by digital and online technologies in a range of contexts. She directs a 33-country network, EU Kids Online, funded by the EC’s Safer Internet Programme, and serves on the Executive Board of the UK’s Council for Child Internet Safety, for which she is the Evidence Champion.

Vinay Nair biography

Vinay NairVinay Nair works in London for Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. He is a former Executive Director at J.P. Morgan London, where he was head of a fixed-income marketing team. He took a sabbatical to work on microfinance and social enterprise, primarily in India. He subsequently worked for the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative in Mozambique, and on secondment to the Ministry of Health, co-led the successful $175 million application for 5-years of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He has launched two social enterprises, one in rural Mozambique, working with HIV-positive women to make and sell jam, and one in the UK, focusing on out-of-hours primary health care, for which he received an award from UnLtd.

Vinay received his BA (Hons) in Economics and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and an MPA (Public Policy and Management) from the London School of Economics. At LSE, he conducted a group capstone project on Indian rural electrification with Acumen Fund and its investee, Husk Power Systems. Vinay sits on the Board of Acumen investee, Durable Activated Residual Textiles (DART). He is on the Advisory Board of Social & Sustainable Capital, the Centre for Talented Youth of Ireland and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.