Our strategic plan defines Healthier as: 'identify and tackle health and wellbeing challenges.' Our activities which encompass this theme facilitate productive conversations and access to educational resources within local communities around health and wellbeing challenges; provide platforms to enable local communities to better communicate their health priorities; and influence the wider health and wellbeing agenda in Scotland.

This theme of 'Healthier' also covers work done in the food and drink industry.

To explore some of Healthier work, see below:

FRIED talks (Food Researchers in Edinburgh)

 YAS members have run several events in partnership with FRIED (Food Researchers in Edinburgh) at the University of Edinburgh – you can find out more about these here.

Tackling Health Inequalities in Scotland

In January 2016, YAS welcomed guest speaker Dr Kat Smith, Reader, Global Public Health Unit at the University of Edinburgh, as part of a group discussion aimed at exploring possible approaches towards tackling Health Inequalities (HI) in Scotland.  The session aimed to harness the collective expertise of YAS members, RSE Fellows and other key stakeholders to help provide a steer and focus, and help inform future direction of travel.

Dr Smith presented her work, which examines how academic research on HI affects policy and practice in Scotland and England.  Her research considers the recent historical context surrounding the issue of HI as part of the Labour Agenda, and the current government’s policies.

There is a consensus in academia that while there is a lot of policy activity around Health Inequalities, but very little progress has been made.  There is also agreement on the types of policies that effectively address the root causes of HI.  However, policies that address these issues are not often advocated by organisations.  Instead, “downstream” policies that address the results of health inequalities are often advocated and introduced; these policies often address behaviours such as smoking, drinking, and poor diet.  Because of past failures to significantly alter HI, there is a sense of “political embarrassment” surrounding the issue that makes it difficult to meaningfully address.

Aspirational Advice

Between January and April 2015, and then again in 2016, the YAS asked all Scots to share a piece of advice to young people on Twitter that would help them to aim high, dream big and lift aspirations and achieve their hopes and goals. We asked them to use the hashtag #AspirationalAdvice . The aim of the campaign was to inspire a future generation of Scots. Some outcomes and highlights of the campaign are recorded in the logbook here.




Our Members

Maria Dornelas is a macroecologist who combines theory and innovative data to quantify biodiversity and understand the processes that shape it. She is a Reader at the University of St Andrews where her group is engaged in questions that range from mm scale species interactions on coral reefs, to global biodiversity patterns across taxa.

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16 March 2018
Siobhán O’Connor, a lecturer from the School of Health and Social Care at Edinburgh Napier Universit...