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PenCLAHRC Theme Lead named as one of UK's 100 leading practising scientists

Posted on January 17th 2014

A PenCLAHRC research Theme Lead has been named as one of the UK's 100 leading practising scientists by the Science Council. Professor Charles Abraham, Professor of Psychology Applied to Health at the University of Exeter Medical School and lead for the new PenCLAHRC Healthy People, Healthy Environments research theme, was named in the 'Teacher Scientist' category and has been recognised for his "instrumental contribution and leadership in promoting the profession of health psychology in the UK through developing the training routes toward Chartered status". The list was put together by the Science Council to draw attention to the important contribution made by a broad range of scientists to UK society and the economy.

Professor Abraham said:

“It’s an honour to be included in this list and I am especially pleased to be recognised for my contribution to training and supervision in health psychology. I didn’t know I had been nominated, so this is a fantastic surprise. I have always sought to ‘share knowledge and train the next generation’, which was one of the selection criteria.”

Professor Abraham’s work focusses on designing, evaluating and putting into place evidence-based approaches to changing health-related behaviour patterns. He works on reducing unsafe sexual encounters among young people, promoting exercise and healthy diets as well as reducing risky alcohol use among young people. He also conducts research on blood donation, encouraging patients to report symptoms of illness and helping patients manage illnesses such as diabetes. 

Chief executive of the Science Council, Diana Garnham, said:

“Science is like an orchestra. It takes many instruments working together to produce a fine performance. At the moment, almost exclusively, it is the virtuosity of the soloists being addressed and praised. Of course, they are essential to science and should be valued accordingly. However, we must, at the same time, recognise and encourage the many other types of contributory scientific talent and experience.”

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science said:

"This list helpfully challenges the perception that there is only one kind of scientist and highlights the different types of skills and challenges a career in science involves. If we want more people to enter a career in science we need to show that the scientific community is not some exclusive club but people with a wide variety of vocations and interests who have rewarding careers and are making a significant contribution to the wealth and well-being of the UK."

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