Helen Adams, Public Engagement Coordinator for the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) project, introduces the project and writes about the team’s first foray into public engagement at Super Science Saturday in March 2018. Outreach is not just a lot of fun, but can help influence the research too…
The Livestock, Environment and Leap (LEAP) project is funded by the Wellcome Trust for four years (2017–2021) and is the banner project for the Oxford Martin School’s ‘Future of Food’ programme. LEAP brings together researchers and experts from different disciplines across the University and beyond, exploring the impact of meat consumption on human and planetary health through the lenses of health, social and environmental sciences. One of these research strands involves a team of health behaviour researchers based at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences (Brian Cook, Christina Potter, Emma Cartwright and Filippo Bianchi) and another involves researchers based at the School of Geography and the Environment (Nathan Clay and Alexandra Sexton).
The LEAP project takes as its starting point the global increase in the consumption of meat and dairy and the premise that such levels of production and consumption are not environmentally sustainable in the long-term. There is also growing evidence to suggest red and processed meat in particular as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. The research team are interested in understanding the reasons people buy and eat meat and what interventions — what actions, messages, and adjustments — might help encourage people to make changes towards more sustainable and healthy diets.
What to read next
SPCR Research Fellow Dr Emma Palmer-Cooper and Health Psychology Researcher Dr Anne Ferrey write about an innovative public engagement project that sets out to investigate whether yarn-based crafting can improve health and wellbeing. The project recently received a University of Oxford Public Engagement with Research Seed Fund Award.