Thursday, 17 April 2014

52 weeks in public health research, part 15

Posted by Lynne Forrest and Martin White

From Lynne Forrest: Having recently passed my viva and officially become Dr Forrest, my thesis has joined a colourful selection of other theses in the bookcase at our Institute, available for others to borrow. I’m not sure how often the hardcopy version will actually be read but it also gets published online 6 months later, which will hopefully increase access (the delay is to allow publication of papers from the thesis first).

From Martin White: This appealed to me on several levels. Fuse partners are working with collaborators across Europe to submit an application for a ‘Marie Skłodowska-Curie action’ – an application to the European Community for an Innovative Training Network (ITN), which will fund 25 PhD studentships. The acronym for our application is ÉTUDE (European Training hUb on behavioural Determinants), hence this musical quote and explanation of its relevance, which serves as frontispiece to our application.

From Martin White: Long delays are part and parcel of journeys on the East Coast mainline, which, if you work in the North East occupy a lot of our time, regularly commuting to and from meetings which inexplicably always have to be in London. On a recent journey, my train was ‘terminated’ at Peterborough and three train loads of people fought to secure a place on the only train going to London. I found a premium spot in the service area of First Class, where I set up my office and returned to reading a PhD. I was two hours late for my meeting…

From Martin White: When you spend 6-7 hours on trains in a day (see other references to East Coast mainline…), you need to seal yourself off from the rest of the carriage to focus on getting work done. My working day always starts (usually at 07.10) with Johan Sebastian Bach. Often a cantata, but sometimes solo cello or violin suites, or the incomparable keyboard works, such as the Goldberg variations. The rhythmic and harmonic structure of Bach makes it perfect for concentrated work.

Just to remind you:

Each Thursday of 2014 we’ll try and post around four pictures on the Fuse blog that capture our weeks in public health research, from the awe-inspiring to the everyday and mundane. Given that more of the latter than the former exists in my life, I foresee problems compiling 208 images worth posting on my own. So this is going to have to be a group project. Send me an image (or images) with a sentence or two describing what aspect of your week in public health research they sum up and I’ll post them as soon as I can. You don’t have to send four together – we can mix and match images from different people in the same week.

Normal rules apply: images you made yourself are best; if you use someone else’s image please check you’re allowed to first; if anyone’s identifiable in an image, make sure they’re happy for it to be posted; nothing rude; nothing that breaks research confidentiality etc.

Also, this doesn’t mean we wont also be posting words. You word-based posts are, as always, much appreciated.


  1. Don't forget that delays of 30 mins plus get you some rail vouchers through Delay Repay!

    I prefer a bit of Miles Davis on the train. I was taking about this with Harry Rutter a few weeks ago - he might be best known for obesity, but he does a good sideline in advice on noise-cancelling headphones!

  2. Thanks Simon - I never forget to claim my refund! 100% refund on outward and return journeys for a delay of 2 hours! Maybe we should do a survey of people's working music and get them to rate their productivity? Personally, I could only listen to music with a groooove (e.g.Miles Davis) if I was doing something mindless, like filing, or deleting spam...