Engagement Fellowship for Suzi Gage
University of Liverpool
There are often misleading reports about drug use, for example confusing messages about alcohol’s health benefits and the link between cannabis use and schizophrenia. Given the complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors and the biological effects of various drugs, there’s a lot of opportunity to use the topic to stimulate discussions about health research.
I will use a person-centred approach to break down barriers that prevent people from engaging with science. I will use stories about the science of recreational drugs to inform people about scientific studies and observational epidemiology and how data from them can be interpreted. I want people to be able to look at news stories about health research and feel confident to interpret the evidence. Cultural commentators should not wear scientific ignorance as a badge of honour. If people are able to interpret the evidence for themselves, health scares would struggle to gain traction and people will be able to make more informed choices about health and behaviour.