- Honorary Senior Research Fellow (Institute of Health and Wellbeing)
Sally has recently retired as Director of the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, and Professor of Social and Public Health Sciences, at the University of Glasgow. She has a BA Hons in Social Theory & Administration from Durham University, an MSc in Sociology as Applied to Medicine from Bedford College, University of London, and a PhD from Aberdeen University.
After research posts at the University of Aberdeen and at the MRC Medical Sociology Unit, Aberdeen, Sally became Director of that Unit and oversaw its move to Glasgow in 1984. With the merger of the MRC Medical Sociology Unit and the Public Health Research Unit in 1998, she became Director of the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, which is funded jointly by the UK Medical Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government Health Directorates. She was director of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit until 2013.
Sally’s research has focused mainly on socioeconomic, spatial and gender inequalities in health across time and over the life course, using data from individuals, households and areas to improve understanding of the significance of the social and physical environment for health. Her interests include the potential of area-based health promotion initiatives, the role of neighbourhood barriers and facilitators for health, and developing an evidence-base for health improvement and reducing health inequalities. She is also interested in perceptions of risk, and the understandings and use of public health research by the public, policymakers, practitioners, and the press.
Sally is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. She has Honorary DScs from the Universities of Aberdeen, University College London, and Lancaster. She was awarded an OBE for services to Medical Sociology in 1998, a CBE for services to Social Science in 2006, and a DBE for services to Science in 2011. From 1995 - 2004 she was Editor-in-Chief of Social Science & Medicine. She was Chair of the Society for Social Medicine in 2005, and in 2006 - 2007 was a member of the Nuffield Council of Bioethics Working Party on Public Health Ethics. She was inaugural chair of the MRC's Population Health Sciences Research Network from 2005-2009. Currently she is a member of MRC Council and the Wellcome Trust's Expert Review Group for Society and Ethics, and a variety of other advisory bodies, and chairs the scientific advisory board for the NIHR School for Public Health Research.