AcoRN Webinar: The Politics of Alcohol

AcoRN Webinar: The Politics of Alcohol

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Join us for the second webinar from the UK-Ireland Alcohol Research Network (AcoRN): The Politics of Alcohol

About this event

The UK-Ireland Alcohol Research Network (AcoRN) would like to invite you to its second webinar, which will be held via Zoom on Thursday 10th February from 1pm to 2:30pm. The webinar will be exploring another key research area of the network: Alcohol and policymaking.

This webinar will be facilitated by Dr Frank Houghton, who will be joined by Dr Matthew Lesch, Professor Shona Hilton, Dr Nason Maani, Dr Sheila Gilheany and Elinor Jayne (full details below). The webinar will focus on the alcohol policymaking process from a number of perspectives, examining industry, media and public health influences on this contentious process.


13:00 – Dr Frank Houghton (Technological University of the Shannon) – Opening remarks and introduction of speakers

13:05 – Dr Matthew Lesch (University of York) – Examining public health and industry influences on the alcohol policymaking process

13:25 – Professor Shona Hilton (University of Glasgow) – Exploring the role of media in framing and influencing alcohol policy

13:45 – Dr Nason Maani (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) – Examining the role of industry in shaping public understanding and the function of corporate social responsibility

14:05 – Panel discussion with main speakers and Dr Sheila Gilheany (Alcohol Action Ireland) and Elinor Jayne (SHAAP)

14:25 – Closing remarks

Who can attend: This event is open to a range of stakeholders, including researchers, public health professionals, policymakers, government officials and civil society groups.

Conflict of interest: We reserve the right to exclude access to those who have a conflict of interest (COI) – that is, anyone who has received funding/remuneration from an entity substantially funded by, or substantially related to, the alcohol industry in the past five years.

Further information: If you have any questions or concerns about potential COIs, please use the "Contact" form at the bottom of this page prior to registering.

Speaker biographies

Dr Frank Houghton is a Lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Sciences and Director of Social Sciences ConneXions at Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) in Ireland.

Dr Matthew Lesch is a Research Fellow in the Health Sciences Department at the University of York in the UK. He is currently undertaking research as part of the Transformative Research on the Alcohol industry, Policy and Science (TRAPS) research programme – a Wellcome Trust funded programme aimed at investigating the alcohol industry, public health sciences and public policy. Dr Lesch’s background is in political science and public policy, and his research seeks to examine the political barriers that inhibit the uptake of evidence-based policy ideas.

Professor Shona Hilton is a Professor of Public Health Policy and Deputy Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. She is a social scientist with a track record in developing and evaluating public health policy communications. Research interests include the media’s framing of public health issues and policies, public understandings of health, marketing and corporate influence, and evidence use in policy development and debate. Professor Hilton has published over 100 scientific papers and recently co-authored a book on ‘The media and public health: where next for critical analysis?’.

Dr Nason Maani is an Assistant Professor in Public Health Evaluation and a Public Health Researcher at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK. His research focuses on the structural and commercial determinants of health, seeking to describe how these determinants affect the generation of knowledge, public discourse, health and health equity. He also serves as an advisor to the Boston University/Rockefeller 3D Commission on Data, Determinants and Decision-making.

Dr Sheila Gilheany is the CEO of Alcohol Action Ireland, the national independent advocate for reducing alcohol harm. It has a strong track record in campaigning, advocacy, research and information provision. Dr Gilheany has a background in physics and has extensive experience in policy development and advocacy. She has led a range of not-for-profit organisations in science, education, public engagement and social enterprise.

Elinor Jayne is the Director of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP), which advocates on the need to reduce the impact of alcohol-related harm on the health and well-being of people in Scotland and the evidence-based approaches to achieve this. Elinor has a wealth of experience in influencing policy and representing organisations in Scotland and the UK. She has worked in a range of sectors, most recently heading up the influencing team at the national healthcare charity, Sue Ryder.

Privacy information

To register for this webinar, it was necessary to collect information on your name, e-mail address, employer/affiliation, and any conflicts of interest. By registering you are consenting to this information being held by the University of York on behalf of, and for the sole use of, managing your attendance at this webinar. This information will be held at the University of York, where strong measures are in place to protect the confidentially of any information (Personal Data) provided. The data will be retained until the event has concluded, after which it will be deleted. For more information, please see the University of York's policies on data protection.

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