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Witnesses: Health & wellbeing

This year, we are focusing on connections between health, wellbeing and sustainability.

Each term, we will explore a different theme. First, in Michaelmas Term, we will focus on the determinants of health and wellbeing in Places - where we live. We will start with the built environment and then move to the natural environment recognising the social, economic and environmental conditions that influence the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities to explore how they affect the way we view and live in cities of the future.

In Lent Term 2017, we will build on the discussions we had during our last year’s topic and focus on Nutrition – what we eat. We will start with the principal constituents of food and which components of our diet that promote wellbeing and reduce the risk of diseases. We will move on to explore the ‘drivers’ that influence our food choices and how we make sense of available nutrition information and conclude by exploring how we can eat our way to health.

In Easter Term we will explore People and the new population dynamics in a rapidly changing world.

Profiles of the witnesses


Ron Bakker
  • Founding Partner,
  • PLP Architects
Dr Dimitris Ballas
  • Senior Lecturer,
  • Department of Geography, University of Sheffield
Craig Bennett
  • CEO,
  • Friends of the Earth (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Professor Matthew Gandy
  • Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography,
  • Department of Geography, University of Cambridge
Professor Charles Godfray
  • Hope Professor and Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food,
  • Oxford University
Dr Michael Obersteiner
  • Program Director of the Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM) Program,
  • International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Laxenburg, Austria
Laurie Parma
  • Researcher based within the Policy Research Group,
  • Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge
Dr Peeter Pärt
  • Advisor in Environment and Human Health Interactions,
  • Joint Research Centre (JRC), European Commission
Professor Sumantra Ray
  • Founding Chair and Executive Director of the NNEdPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health,
  • Senior Medical Advisor and Head of the Volunteer Studies and Clinical Services Facility,
  • MRC Elsie Widdowson Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Ellie Robinson
  • Assistant Director of External Affairs,
  • National Trust
Dr Marco Springmann
  • James Martin Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food,
  • Post-doctoral Researcher, Department of Population Health,
  • Oxford University
Professor Catharine Ward Thompson
  • Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), Director of the OPENspace research centre and Associate Dean for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Impact for the College of Humanities and Social Science,
  • University of Edinburgh
Professor Martin White
  • Programme Lead – Food behaviours and public health interventions,
  • UKCRC Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR),
  • MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge
Bee Wilson
  • A food writer, journalist and historian