#CFP: “#Truth, trust and research in #health and #SocialCare”; London, UK; 11 Sept 2020

Dear Colleagues,

A reminder that the Call for Papers for our forthcoming one-day workshop is open. The workshop will take place at UCL on Friday September 11th 2020. The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday May 1st 2020. We are arranging a virtual option for the day should there be Covid-19 related restrictions in place.

Details about the workshop and how to submit an abstract below.

Best wishes,

UCL Qualitative Health Research Network


“Truth, trust and research in health and social care”

Friday 11 September 2020, 10-4.30pm

University College London, room TBC*

Keynote address from Dr Lorelei Jones

Lecturer in Healthcare Sciences, Bangor University

This one-day workshop convenes scholars from a broad range of academic disciplines to consider the complex dynamics of trust which are implicated in research and engrained in health and social care. We invite submissions from early career researchers and seasoned academics to reflect on these issues via paper submissions, short presentations and discussions. A keynote address by Dr Lorelei Jones will begin the day.


Trust might be considered as a contested ethic and social practice which permeates all aspects of our work. It appears fundamental in establishing social networks and mediating our relationships to broader institutions (1-2). In healthcare, trust is therefore critical to routine provision: for patients to feel safe and reassured; for doctors to know patients adhere to treatment regimens; for all to accept common terms of care and the fair distribution of resources through science and policy.

Recent political and social changes, however, have challenged public trust in institutions, including science and medicine (3-5). Although such mistrust is not new, it is happening within a particular social and political moment (4). The circulation of ‘alternative facts’ (4-5), a rising anti-vaccination movement (6,7), populist attacks on migrant rights to health (8), a dismissal of climate change’s impact on health (9), and a resistance to public health expertise during global health emergencies, such as Covid-19 (10-11), are just several examples of a shift from scientific knowledge towards different ways of knowing, with potentially dangerous consequences.

At stake are contemporary notions of quality, authority, responsibility and relevance in health and social care, and the processes through which knowledge is produced, circulated and applied.

Aims and scope of the workshop

In this workshop, we seek to generate a critical dialogue on truth, trust and research in health and social care. We invite submissions from researchers at all levels that: 1) develop methodological and theoretical approaches to examine trust in health and social care, and 2) examine trust as an analytical framework to further explore notions of quality, authority, responsibility and relevance in knowledge production.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

* Studying truth and trust in health and social care (e.g., the patient-doctor relationship; the commissioning of equitable services; the authority and ‘truth’ of medicine’s objects)

* Trust as an analytical concept (e.g., theoretical and methodological issues implicated in considering and studying trust)

Beyond merely presenting research studies or findings, this forum aims to stimulate discussion about key issues in crafting the future of qualitative health research. As such, we envisage that participants will pose thoughtful ideas and possibly strategies to address the challenges we face in improving health and social care using qualitative methods. The day will be limited to a small number of participants to promote a collaborative and interactive forum.

Submission process

If you would like to be considered for the event, please submit a 300-word abstract to qhrn<mailto:qhrn> outlining your challenge or idea. Selections will be based on the merit of the idea and its connection to the themes of the event. Abstract submissions must be made by 1700 GMT Friday 1 May. Selections will be made by Friday 5 June.

After submission

Successful delegates will be required to submit a longer outline by Friday 17 July in the form of a short paper or “think piece” (max 1000 words, excluding references), which will be disseminated to other delegates for reading prior to the event. Delegates will each be given the opportunity for a short pitch outlining their key points (~5 minutes) and discussion of their paper on the day of the workshop. A major onus will be on group discussion of the papers and collaboration in highlighting interesting connections with the theme of truth and trust in its theoretical and methodological aspects.

Further information

This workshop is organised by the UCL Qualitative Health Research Network. The workshop will be free to attend and places will be limited to those with selected abstracts. Please see our website< qhrn<mailto:qhrn>. You can also access a report and information about our previous critical workshop by clicking here<https://www.ucl.ac.uk/qualitative-health-research-network/critical-workshop-2018>.

* We are working on a virtual option for the day if, at the time, there are Covid-19 related restrictions in place.

About the network

Our Qualitative Health Research Network (QHRN) was established in 2013 to provide a forum for QH researchers and to examine our role in contemporary healthcare. Since its conception, it has sought to ask difficult and timely questions facing our research community and reinvigorate longstanding debates about researcher positionality, methodological rigour and theoretical inventiveness. Recently, we considered: 1) patient/public engagement in research (2016-17), and 2) the complexity of studying fast-moving social and technical change, when we ourselves are both agents of change and commentators with a responsibility to respond rapidly (2018-19). We now turn more directly to the production of knowledge in science and medicine, also taking stock of our contribution to the ‘evidence base,’ as QH researchers. In 2018, the QHRN established a key partnership with RREAL: Rapid Research Evaluation and Appraisal Lab to develop further training and progress methodologies for use in settings subject to rapid change or complex health emergencies.


1. Broch-Due, V. and Ystanes, M. 2016. Introducing ethnographies of trusting. In Broch-Due, V. and Ystanes, M. (Eds), Trusting and Its Tribulations: Interdisciplinary Engagements with Intimacy, Sociality and Trust (pp. 1-36) London: Berghahn Books.

2. Sanford V. & Angel-Ajani A. (2006) Engaged observer: anthropology, advocacy, and activism. Palgrave Macmillan, Rutgers University Press.

3. Corsín Jiménez, A. (2011). Trust in anthropology. Anthropological Theory, 11(2): 177-196.

4. Jasanoff, S. (2017). Back from the Brink: Truth and Trust in the Public Sphere. Issues in Science and Technology 33(4) (summer).

5. Latour, B. (2018). Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climate Regime. London: Polity Press.

6. Kennedy J (2019) Populist politics and vaccine hesitancy in Western Europe: an analysis of national-level data. European J Public Health, Vol 29(3): 512-516.

7. Sobo, E.J., (2015). Social Cultivation of Vaccine Refusal and Delay among Waldorf (Steiner) School Parents. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 29(3): 381-399.

8. Abubakar I, Aldridge RW, Devakumar D, Orcutt M, Burns R, Barreto ML, Dhavan P, Fouad FM, Groce N, Guo Y, Hargreaves S, Knipper M, Miranda JJ, Madise N, Kumar B, Mosca D, McGovern T, Rubenstein L, Sammonds P, Sawyer SM, Sheikh K, Tollman S, Spiegel P, Zimmerman C; UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health (2018) The UCL–Lancet Commission on Migration and Health: the health of a world on the move. The Lancet, 392: 2606-54.

9. World Health Organization (n.d.) Climate change and human health – risks and responses: Summary. Retrieved July 2019, from https://www.who.int/globalchange/summary/en/index2.html.

10. Garrett, L. (2020). COVID-19: the medium is the message. The Lancet, online first doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30600-0.

11. Horton, R. (2020). Offline: COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal.” The Lancet, online first doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30727-3.

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