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Juliet Dobson

The BMJ Today: Working all hours and alcohol use

14 Jan, 15 | by BMJ

juliet_dobsonYou would have thought that working long hours would leave people with little time left for an after work drink, but according to this meta-analysis by Virtanen and colleagues, people who have long working hours are at higher risk of alcohol use. Editorialist Cassandra A Okechukwu says that the findings of this study add impetus to further regulation of working hours as a public health intervention. She writes that the risks of working long hours cannot be ignored, especially in light of mounting pressure to exclude an increasing proportion of workers from current standards that limit working hours in Europe and other developed countries. more…

Juliet Dobson: Probably Nothing

3 Oct, 14 | by BMJ

juliet_dobsonProbably Nothing is a comic by Matilda Tristram about discovering that she had colon cancer when she was 17 weeks pregnant. The comic, initially published online and now as a book, charts her diagnosis and subsequent treatment while pregnant and then looking after a newborn baby. It is a very honest and moving account of what it is like to be a patient. more…

Juliet Dobson: MSF scientific day 2013—how can we measure the impact of research?

17 May, 13 | by BMJ

Juliet DobsonHow can we measure the impact of research? What is impact, and how can we show that research leads to measurable outcomes for patients? On 10 May, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) held their annual scientific day, and the focus of the day was to try and answer some of these questions. There was also a focus on the role that technology and social media can play in measuring the impact of research. more…

Juliet Dobson: Open journalism and social media

24 Sep, 12 | by BMJ Group

Juliet DobsonThe Guardian is well known for being at the forefront of journalism and for pushing forward ever more innovative ways of covering the news. A talk at King’s Place on Friday 14 September looked at how journalism is changing and how social media, particularly Twitter, are changing the way news is reported and read.

The talk was by Dan Roberts, national editor, Guardian. He opened the discussion by looking back to his first job at a local paper. I loved his description of working in an office that was above the printing presses. He said you could feel the hum and vibrations of the presses in the office as the papers were printed. It was a very industrial process and this was reflected in the way journalists worked. Journalists wrote and readers consumed. The papers were printed and then delivered in lorries all around the country. But now, in the 21st century, this producer-consumer balance has shifted as smartphones have given everyone the ability to gather information and publish it. more…

Juliet Dobson: Freedom of the press v privacy rights. Is it time for parliament to draw the line?

10 Feb, 12 | by BMJ Group

Juliet DobsonThe seventh UCL/Bindmans Debate on 8 February tackled the question of press privacy. Should parliament regulate the press? One side of the argument is that freedom of expression is too important to be regulated. But on the other hand, is the press now too immoral to regulate itself?

Tessa Jowell, Labour MP and shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, began the panel discussion. She said that as an MP handling the media was part of her everyday work and that the status quo is unsustainable even if you believe in a free press. She thinks that the press should be free but with clearer boundaries about what is acceptable. “Just because something is possible, doesn’t mean it is acceptable,” she said.  more…

Juliet Dobson: How to pay for quality journalism in a digital world?

25 May, 11 | by BMJ Group

Juliet DobsonIt is almost a year since News International decided to put Times Online and the Sunday Times websites behind a paywall. It was a watershed moment for journalism, and on Monday 9 May City University organised a talk about how to pay for quality journalism in a digital age.

The debate started with Geordie Grieg, editor of the Evening Standard, talking about how the paper’s finances were rescued by changing their publishing model and giving the paper away for free. The Evening Standard was losing 10-20% of its revenue per year, and had huge financial losses. The company decided to go free and concentrated on giving out the paper in fewer places. At Oxford Circus tube station it used to sell on average 700 copies a day. It now distributes 32,000 copies a day in the same place. Their advertising yield has gone up by 120% and they are expecting to start making a profit in 2012. The key to the success is, he said, that they are still a quality paper, producing good journalism. They recently won two awards to prove that. The success of this plan was evident as a large number of the audience was carrying copies of that evening’s paper, picked up from the free stall by the university entrance. more…

Juliet Dobson: Should information be free?

25 Feb, 11 | by BMJ Group

Juliet DobsonShould information be free? Does any good come from restricting access to it? These questions were the topic of conversation at a talk hosted by IQ2 at the Dana Centre, on Tuesday 22 February.

The discussion opened with Daniel Glaser from the Wellcome Trust asking whether scientists should make their research data free. The Lancet published a letter on 11 January 2011, which is signed by many of the world’s leading research funders. It commits them to improving data sharing in the public health community. Glaser argued that scientists should share their data to help progress research. But as a scientist himself he admitted that he would find it upsetting to see someone else publish research based on his data, which took him years of effort and hard work to obtain. more…

Juliet Dobson on eating animals

21 Jan, 11 | by BMJ Group

Juliet DobsonOn Wednesday night at the London School of Economics, US novelist Jonathan Safran Foer took part in a discussion about his latest book, Eating Animals, as part of the Forum for European Philosophy. The book, a departure from his previous two novels, is part memoir, part exposé. He writes about his struggle with vegetarianism and explores factory farming methods and the food industry. more…

Juliet Walker: Going beyond journals

17 Jul, 09 | by julietwalker

Juliet WalkerScientific publishing is no longer just about printing journals but increasingly includes online publishing, broadcasting, and creating online communities. A talk I attended given by Timo Hannay at University College London on 15 July demonstrated just how much scientific publishing has evolved and in how many ways it will still change. It was entitled “The future of scientific publishing”, but as Timo pointed out, there are many futures in store for scientific publishing. more…

Juliet Walker on using F1 technology in medicine

23 Mar, 09 | by julietwalker

Juliet WalkerFormula 1 motor racing is not usually something associated with medical innovation, however a new exhibition at the Science Museum shows how Formula 1 inspired technology is being used to improve medical practice and resources. The Fast Forward exhibition shows twenty ways in which Formula 1 is changing the world, six of which are focused around improving health care. more…

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