A podcast on how our health is influenced by commercial forces, wealth and power, hosted by Dr Nason Maani and featuring conversations from a range of perspectives.
Episode 4: Commercial influence on science with Lisa Bero
52:48Hello everyone, and welcome back to Money Power Health. As you know, this podcast is about money, and power, and the role they play in shaping population health. I am particularly interested in the commercial determinants of health, the activities of the private sector, and the structures it operates in, that shape health directly and indirectly. One of the values of taking a commercial determinants lens to these issues, is that it allows us to consider commonalities in commercial incentives, strategies and tactics. A key example of this, is considering commercial influence on science and the generation of knowledge. That is what the topic of todays podcast is, and for this I am joined by Professor Lisa Bero. She is a Professor of Medicine and Public Health, and Chief Scientist at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado. She is Senior Editor, Research Integrity for the Cochrane Collaboration, and was co-chair of the Cochrane Governing Board from 2014-2019. She has pioneered the use of internal industry documents and transparency databases to understand corporate tactics and motives for research influence, and has developed a range of qualitative and quantitative methods for assessing bias in the design, conduct and dissemination of research. She also kindly contributed a chapter on industry influence on research for our book, the commercial determinants of health, published by Oxford University Press. In the podcast we talk about how she got interested in this area of research, some of her findings on the cycle of commercial bias in research, the impact of this work, how to communicate it to scientists and to the public, and of course, some advice for early career researchers. You can find more about her work here: https://www.cuanschutz.edu/centers/bioethicshumanities/facultystaff/lisa-bero-phd And some of the work she mentions with Alice Fabbri is here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30157979/ Here is an example of the use of meta knowledge research, in the context of research on the health effects of salt: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/45/1/251/2363485 The music for this podcast was composed and recorded by Daniel Maani. You can find out more about his music here: https://youtalktoomuch.band
Episode 3: Social Media with Nora Kenworthy and Marco Zenone
43:16Hello everyone, and welcome back to Money Power Health. As I mentioned in the first episode, part of the goal of this podcast is to bear witness to some of the hidden forces that shape health, and the extent to which they relate to money and power. Sometimes it is hard to perceive, but everything from the quality of the air you are breathing, to the bacterial count in your tap water, or your proximity to a firearm, affects your health, and is in large part a consequence of the distribution of money and power. And that isn’t just the case with the physical world. Many of us now also spend a large proportion of our lives and interact with others through social media. That digital world is shaped by commercial forces, just like the physical one is. The companies that produce these are sometimes incredibly large, and active political players, through funding political campaigns, co-designing and conducting research, and engaging in CSR efforts, including with UN organizations. Social media platforms are crucial conduits of information, and networks of influence, though often in highly selective and unequal ways. These are not simply utility providers. In the case of much of social media, while the platform itself is an environment we inhabit and interact with, it is designed by a company that relies to a large extent on maximising engagement, data collection, and ad revenue, through our presence on it. There has been increasing interest in how social media algorithms may amplify or inadequately moderate harmful content, including hate speech and misinformation, or be used by harmful product manufacturers to promote their products, or shape public discourse. Research is now beginning to consider the ways in which social media companies, and platforms, might be regarded as commercial determinants of health, and since you probably found the podcast via social media, I thought it would be good to devote an episode to understanding some of the health implications that arise as a result of the nature, incentives, platforms and activities of social media companies, since they are responsible for an increasing portion of our social worlds. To do this, I have invited two guests. The first is Professor Nora Kenworthy. She is an associate professor in the school of nursing and health studies at the University of Washington, who has conducted a range of research projects on the health implications of crowd-funding platforms and social media more generally. Joining her is Marco Zenone, a researcher and doctoral candidate at LSHTM who’s studies focus on the intersection of public health, misinformation and marketing on social media. You can find an example of the work Nora referred to on crowdfunding here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8519036/ and an example of Marco's work here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/poi3.188 We wrote a short conceptual article on social media as a commercial determinant of health, which you can find here: https://www.ijhpm.com/article_4248_0357b3eafff74f9eec69cd6d310cd803.pdf The music in this podcast was by Daniel Maani. You can check out more of his music here: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4GDF0XnCn78nce0gesJoC7 and here: https://youtalktoomuch.band
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Episode 2: Conducting research in public health with Martin McKee
39:39Welcome back to Money Power Health. This week, we are speaking to Professor Martin McKee, on his research in public health, the responsibility to communicate public health to wider audiences, including the media, and some advice for early career researchers on specialisation and collaboration. Martin is a Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. He is a past Chair of the UK Society for Social Medicine (2010), President of the European Public Health Association (2014-16), and chair of the Global Health Advisory Committee of the Open Society Foundations (2010-15). He is a member of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine. He is currently the President of the British Medical Association, the trade union and professional body for doctors and medical students in the UK. The BMA has been very active in speaking up about the health impacts of the cost of living crisis for people in the UK. You can read more about their work here. Martin just wrote a piece reflecting on the UK and health three years post Brexit, which you can read here. If you are interested in the work of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, which he mentions in the podcast, you can find out more about their work here. Thanks so much for listening. Warmly, Nason
Episode 1: Introducing Money Power Health, with special guest Sandro Galea
25:38Welcome to Money Power Health, a podcast on how our health is influenced by commercial forces, wealth and power, hosted by Dr. Nason Maani, lecturer in inequalities and global health policy at the University of Edinburghs Global Health Policy Unit. In this first episode, with the help of guest Professor Sandro Galea, Dean of Boston University School of Public Health, we introduce the podcast, and discuss the main themes in the podcast title. A link to the book mentioned at the start of the podcast is here: https://academic.oup.com/book/44473 And Sandro Galea's book entitled Well, which we also referenced, is here: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/well-9780190916831?cc=gb&lang=en& You can find out more about Sandro Galea here: https://www.bu.edu/sph/profile/sandro-galea/ If you have any ideas for podcast guests or topics, you can email Nason here: [email protected]