Introducing: ‘Argumenting Health Communication in the Digital Era’

The 2019 workshop of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), Health & Science Communication Special Interest Group (HSC SIG) is:

“Argumenting Health Communication in the Digital Era”

This will be held on Friday 13th September 2019. It is hosted by the University of Brescia, in Italy.

Abstract submission is now closed. Please visit the conference website for more information, including regarding the workshop’s preliminary programme, venue and application process.

Some of the key information is also reproduced below:


In recent years, discourse analysts have taken various approaches to the study of health communication. As the main approaches to health discourse taken over the past several decades, Conversation Analysis, Interactional Sociolinguistics and Narrative Analysis are breaking new grounds and opening up new horizons and contexts in health communication. Moreover, the so-called ‘digital era’ is undoubtedly affecting health behaviours and healthcare practices, and digital technologies require both discourse analysts and healthcare professionals to expand their perspective beyond traditional doctor–patient communication. New tools, tests and apps are accelerating changes and improving outcomes in health, healthcare and wellness. Technology is growing at an incredibly fast rate, which can help solve the issues of rising healthcare costs, demographics, access to data and so forth, on condition that the entire health communication system is able to keep up with it. The way discourse about health travels “beyond the clinic” needs to be explored, not just across physical settings but also across multiple semiotic modes and media.
Researchers in applied linguistics, social marketing, shared decision making, communication (from interpersonal to mass media), psychology, government, and health education are called to make proposals aimed at advancing a synergistic relationship between research and practical information in order to build a new interdisciplinary view of argumentation in Health Communication. With a focus on areas of technology and public health, ethics, politics/policy, and the application of health communication principles, proposals are invited for 20-minute paper presentations as well as posters on any of the suggested areas:

  • Health Literacy
  • Intercultural Communication in Health
  • Media and Health Communication
  • Medical Education
  • Public Understanding of Health and Illness
  • Health Technologies and Medical Informatics
  • Tailoring Health Messages
  • Digital Health
  • Technology-mediated interaction in healthcare
  • Narrative approaches to health communication’
  • Ethics and Communication

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

  • Prof. Srikant Sarangi, Professor in Humanities and Medicine and Director of the Danish Institute of Humanities and Medicine/Health (DIHM), Aalborg University (DK), on “Modes and modalities in technology-mediated healthcare: A critical appraisal”.
  • Prof. Sara Rubinelli, President of the European Association for Communication in Healthcare (EACH) , University of Lucerne (CH), on “Knowledge co-creation in online communities towards a better health services delivery and medical care
  • Prof. Pier Luigi Lopalco, MD, Professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Pisa (IT), on “Effective public health communication in the era of social media
  • Dr. Eugenio Santoro, Head of the Laboratory of Medical Informatics, Department of Public Health, IRCCS – Mario Negri Institute – Milano

Key dates

  • Abstract deadline: 30th April 2019
  • Acceptance notifications: 15th May 2019
  • Registration opens: 15th May 2019
  • Registration closes: 6th September 2019

Submission Guidelines

Proposals for individual paper presentations (no more than 250 words) should either be submitted online via the conference site here, or be be sent in pdf format to
For all submissions, please indicate clearly:

  • Abstract title, author name/s and institutional affiliation/s
  • 4-5 keywords
  • Contact email address and phone number of the responsible Author.

Fees are entirely covered by the University of Brescia.