Accessible research could be the key to a healthier Scotland

New easy-to-read archive launched at seminar

Date posted

20 November 2018


A new easy-to-read academic research archive will guide planners and policy makers towards transport decisions which improve public health.

Professor Adrian Davis will announce the launch of Essential Evidence 4 Scotland at a top-level Transport Planning and Public Health seminar at Edinburgh Napier University.

Much of the work carried out in this area, although exhaustively reviewed and evaluated by fellow expert researchers, can be inaccessible, highly technical and daunting in length.

Professor Davis, the world’s first Professor of Transport and Health, will cut through the jargon and produce one-page plain English summaries of transport research studies which can be used by busy planners, policy makers, consultancies and public health practitioners.

The initiative, part-funded by a grant from the Paths for All charity which champions everyday active travel, will see him draft free publicly-accessible versions of research covering everything from motorist and pedestrian behaviour to infrastructure issues, sustainability, and the way language is used to shape transport debates.

Edinburgh Napier’s Professor Davis, who will produce at least 20 summaries in the first year, building over time into a substantial library, said: "Knowledge translation services can be a critically important way for practitioners to gain access to the most robust and recent peer-reviewed evidence and to make most effective use of the research. Sadly, this translation is often missing.

“The ultimate aim is to increase access to this research, to help practitioners to more effectively inform decision-makers about the scientific evidence and so to improve the health outcomes of local authority transport interventions."

The archive will be housed within the online research pages of Edinburgh Napier’s Transport Research Institute.

Its launch will be announced at the “Towards a Healthier Transport System for Scotland” seminar at the university’s Merchiston campus on the morning of Thursday November 22.

Other speakers will include Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, and Dr Marco Martuzzi of the World Health Organisation. Academics will also deliver presentations on topics ranging from cyclist safety to landscape and health and the cardiovascular effects of air pollution.

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