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Professor Elizabeth Dowler appointed to Defra/DECC Social Science Expert Panel

liz dowlerProfessor Elizabeth Dowler has been selected as a member of the new Social Science Expert Panel for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The panel’s purpose is to bring high quality, multi-disciplinary social science advice to both departments.

Liz is Professor in Food and Social Policy within the Sociology department. She is a Registered Public Health Nutritionist, and undertakes research on the social and policy dimensions of food and human nutrition. Liz works collaboratively with colleagues from different disciplines and sectors in the UK, elsewhere in Europe and the global south. Recent main areas of research have been on food security, national and international; local and new food initiatives; food and nutrition in mediating inequalities in health and of poverty; policy evaluation at local and national levels. She has explored consumers’ identities and perceptions of ‘risk’ and ‘trust’ in relation to food, and the implications of negotiated new relationships with producers and the food system.

Social Science Expert Panel

Defra and DECC have appointed a panel of social science advisers to provide evidence-based advice and challenge to the departments’ social research strategy, programme and priorities.

As part of her role on the new panel, Liz will:

  • Support Defra and DECC to develop their social science capacity by advising on how and where social science can best contribute to meeting strategic objectives and commitments
  • Advise and critically assess how Defra and DECC gather and use social science evidence and advice
  • Provide independent critique/quality assurance and peer review of the design and output of social science research and evaluation studies, drawing on wider expertise where appropriate
  • Keep Defra and DECC connected to relevant social science in the UK and internationally
  • Provide expert input to specific projects
  • Draft occasional expert review pieces