HSC Workshop 2018

This event has now passed.  Read a report of the event here: HSC SIG_Report_2018

Workshop of the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)

Health & Science Communication Special Interest Group (HSC SIG)

“Mixing it up: Multi-methods, media and modalities”


 Wednesday 21st November 2018

Hosted by the School of Education, Communication & Society, King’s College London


With the recent surge in use of technology and apps for personal health monitoring, researchers working on health and science communication have seized opportunities to explore new forms of digital and algorithmic data.  This is no surprise; communication scholars have always kept up with changes in the ways that public and professionals communicate, updating methods and designing projects to accommodate images, videos, online forums, social media and so on. Through these data, the study of health and science communication reaches so much further than the spoken or written language that we use.  While bringing together multiple methods or exploring multimodal data poses certain challenges, there is also strength in variety, offering insights that could not be found through explorations of text alone.

The aim of this workshop is to highlight the multiple and varied methods of research that are currently being used by researchers in health and science communication. There will be papers that analyse multimodal data, that adopt mixed methods approaches, that draw on several data sets or that are innovative in the methods they employ. We hope to bring together researchers from applied linguistics, medical sociology, media studies and social psychology with the intention of exploring how variety in methods can help shed new light on issues in health and science communication.

 Keynote Speakers

  • Dr Gabriella Rundblad, King’s College London
  • Professor Jeff Bezemer, UCL Institute of Education

EVENT: “Experiences of illness and death: learning from the discourses of realities and fictions”


BAAL Health & Science Communication SIG Workshop
28 November 2016
Hosted by the Faculty of Well-being, Education and Language Studies
The Open University, Milton Keynes

This event has now passed. Read a summary and reflections on the workshop here: hsc-narrative-workshop-report

“Any serious illness is a medical event, but it is lived in narrative terms” wrote Andrew Solomon in a recent article for The Guardian. This workshop will focus on these ‘lived’ and ‘narrative’ aspects of the experience of illness and death from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Accounts of illness and dying by patients, carers and healthcare professionals have been at the heart the medical humanities for several decades. They have been called upon to better understand patients and to enable patient-centered care, to improve training and empathy in healthcare professionals and to begin to assist those who informally support and care for the ill. They have been investigated from the perspectives of history, sociology, literature, the visual arts and, more recently, linguistics. At the same time, these disparate approaches and applications, have tended to leave the field somewhat fragmented. The aim of this workshop is to bring together researchers of different backgrounds who examine and use experiences of illness and death to discuss and explore the methods and applications that allow us to get the most out of these rich and powerful sources of evidence.

Keynote speakers:
Dr Julie Ellis, University of Sheffield
Dr Jonathon Tomlinson, NHS The Lawson Practice (https://abetternhs.wordpress.com/about/)


WORKSHOP: Computer-mediated health communication: Perspectives from ethnography and discourse analysis


Hosted by the Language Centre School of Language, Linguistics, and Film, Queen Mary University of London


This event has now passed. Event report: sigs_hsc_ 2016_meeting_report

This first SIG workshop will focus on the theme of computer mediated health communication taking a broad view of the diverse digital contexts in which health communication is developed through the medium of language. We are particularly interested in contributions that use the frameworks of ethnography and discourse analysis for the selection and analysis of linguistic features in order to understand relations between digital texts and their wider contexts of production and reception.

The new possibilities of using ICT technologies for practitioner-patient consultations as well as for peer-to-peer interaction in a synchronic or asynchronic manner have fascinated health researchers for over three decades. While there is a growing body of psychology literature focused on the quantitative analysis of isolated content features, the linguistic analyses of ICT-facilitated interactions in their discursive and social contexts have not yet received systematic attention.  In research on social media for example, the nature of synchronic or asynchronic platforms, and the fact that many forms of online communication are publicly available are likely to influence the way in which health and illness identities are constructed by professional and ‘lay’ actors.

The aims of this workshop are to bring together researchers who examine health communication from the theoretical and methodological traditions of linguistic ethnography and discourse analysis, to test the value of combining different research methods and to share solutions to the challenges of data analysis and interpretation posed by online environments. We are particularly interested in building theoretical and methodological bridges between applied linguistics, medical sociology, media studies and social psychology.

Invited speakers include:

  • Prof Elena Semino (University of Lancaster)
  • Dr Julia Bailey (University College London)