Shona is Deputy Director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit and co-leads the Informing Healthy Public Policy programme. Her research focuses on examining macro level determinants on health such as mass media, political and corporate influences that shape emerging public and policy debates. This research aims to offer stakeholders and decision-makers early insights into how health issues, evidence and policies are being reported and understood. In collaboration with policymakers, practitioners and the public, she has completed research and disseminated findings on a wide range of topical health debates and interventions from the emergence of swine flu, introduction of HPV vaccination, reporting of obesity epidemic, minimum unit pricing for alcohol, smoke-free car legislation, and the rise of e-cigarette use.
Currently, she is working on the sugar tax debate, childhood obesity, and the harms of marketing targeted at children. Increasingly, Shona is involved in innovative design projects and developing workshops using new e-tool technologies to improve people’s critical appraisal skills and web-based platforms aimed at improving public participation in research using real-time data approaches. She has a keen interest in developing more transparent and robust methodologies to understand the complex and changing media environment. This has led to the development of her successful one-day workshop on ‘Media Content Analysis’, which she runs nationally and internationally.