12th – 19th January Mona Nasser

This week we’re being curated by a dentist! We’ll, not quite but read in and you’ll see what I mean. We’re cozying with the sciences again as serial-curator Mona Nasser takes the reins. She’ll be talking health information, history of medicine and interdisciplinarity as she tells us about her engagement with the humanities in her work on clinical epidemiology and evidenced based dentistry.

Hi, my name is Mona Nasser (@monalisa1n) and I am looking forward to be curating @WetheHumanities this week. I have a mixed background. I studied dentistry. During my high school and university time, I worked as a journalist, illustrator and translator in Iran, mostly for a journal called Vekalat (which in Persian means Lawyer) – a Journal on Law, Culture and Literature published in Persian.

After graduating from dental school, I got involved in Clinical Epidemiology and systematic reviews. During this time, I also worked with historians in Oxford two projects around medical history in Iran. The articles were part of a bigger project called the James Lind Library, investigating the history of fair test and clinical research. My two articles are on Ibn Hindu and Ibn Sina, two historically known medical researchers from Iran. I continued my work in clinical epidemiology (specifically systematic reviews) in Germany.

In Germany, I worked on appraising the quality of evidence to inform writing evidence based information for the public. The project, not only looked at the evidence that needs to be communicated in the health information, but also on research how to write and communicate health information to the public. During this time, I also worked on an international project looking at the evidence based policy making process in the health care system in UK, Germany, France and Australia to inform related discussions in USA.

Later, I got a position in UK bringing together my work as a dentist and systematic reviewer together as the Clinical Lecture in Evidence Based Dentistry. I continue to work with a historian, political scientist media anthropologist and several psychologists and artists in two of my current research projects:

Cognovo :CogNovo is an Innovative Doctoral Programme, funded by the EU Marie Curie initiative and Plymouth University, to foster research training in the emerging field of Cognitive Innovation. CogNovo offers transdisciplinary training that combines scientific studies of the neural correlates and mechanisms of creativity, with investigations into the role of creativity in human cognition, and their application in sustainable technological and social innovation. I am involved in the overall discussions and developments of the project; this includes several workshops and symposiums to explore how to make interdisciplinary discussions possible. As part of the project, I co-supervise, Agatha Haines PhD who is working on Ideas Exchange: Understanding the human object. As an artist and designer, she brings a new perspective looking at objects in dental environment.

Cochrane Agenda and Priority setting Methods Group: The project looks at how researchers, funders, academic organisations and other stakeholders in the research system decide what questions are most worth addressing through research. As part of this project, I work with a political scientist to develop methods to engage with policy makers working in health care in four countries to understand what their questions and concerns are and which of them are the most important one to address in a research project.

I would like to tell you about some of my research projects but also raise discussion around “how we can make an interdisciplinary project between artists, humanities and scientists work” and “how would a training programme to support such a project look like”. As part of the discussion, I will share some of the resources and discussions we developed and had in Cognovo. I also work on systematic reviews which are scientific approaches to cumulate evidence to answer research, clinical or policy questions. Researchers in sociology, education, criminology and other fields attempted to adapt the systematic review methodology to their field and introduced different approaches like meta-ethnography, meta-narrative or realists reviews. I would like to tell you about our methods to review the literature, ask you about approaches that you use to review the literature in your discipline and finally what are the implications to review the literature in an interdisciplinary research project.

If you spend lots of time on twitter, you might know that I also curated @realscientists and @wepublichealth before.

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