A qualitative study of public attitudes towards the governance of biomedical research
This research addresses the question of how members of the public engage in a process of dialogue around issues of biomedical research governance. What are people’s pre-existing ideas about governance issues and how do they formulate opinions on this topic? The project has a three phase research design which will investigate these questions in depth. First is the secondary analysis of qualitative data concerning both public and expert understandings of governance.
These data will give us a unique opportunity to look at the anchoring of existing public understandings and to juxtapose these with the ways in which experts conceptualise public understandings of regulation. Second, we will develop, in collaboration with members of the public, an information film about governance. This film will be used as a tool to facilitate public dialogue on these issues in the third phase of research using reconvened focus groups to explore public attitudes.
Richard Shepherd is an Emeritus Professor of Psychology, having retired in August 2011. He obtained degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge and in Psychology from Cardiff and Southampton. He was a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey and then worked at the Institute of Food Research from 1982 to 1998, initially in Norwich and then in Reading, before joining the University of Surrey as a Reader.
He has carried out research on a range of issues related to the factors influencing food choice. In particular this has involved the development and application of social cognition models to food choice issues and the exploration of the factors influencing dietary change. He has also conducted research on the perception of risk and risk communication particularly in relation to food issues. He has published widely in all of these areas of research, including editing two books.
He has directed research funded by BBSRC, ESRC, MAFF, FSA, Wellcome Trust and industry, in addition to several collaborative European projects funded by the EU. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. In the past Richard has been a member of the UK Food Standards Agency Social Science Research Committee, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Social Science Expert Advisory Group and the ESRC Grant Assessment Panel.
Armstrong, V., Barnett, J., Cooper, H., Monkman, M., Moran-Ellis, J. & Shepherd, R. (2007). Public Attitudes to Governance: A qualitative study in a deliberative context. London: The Wellcome Trust.
Shepherd, R., Armstrong, V., Barnett, J., Cooper, H., Monkman, M., & Moran-Ellis, J. (2007). A qualitative study of public attitudes towards the governance of biomedical research. Invited presentation at 'Research governance and personal health information: public perspectives', London, 26 June 2007.
Shepherd, R. (2008). Public perspectives on research governance. Invited paper at the Social Research Association meeting 'Consent and Confidentiality in Social Research', London, 29 January 2008.
Published Report (pdf) 2.8mb (wellcomereportpublishedversion.pdf)
Research groups and centres
Our research is supported by research groups and centres of excellence.