Communities of Common Interest
In the second phase of Eastern Arc we are focusing on four broad themes in which our three universities have clear strengths:
- Health systems, social care and wellbeing
- Human rights, equality and conflict
- Sustainability, natural resources and food
- Culture, connection and creativity.
Within each of these areas, we have been developing ‘communities of common interest’, and have prepared directories of those working in these areas.
The number and range of these directories will develop as we continue to fulfil our Strategy 2020-25. They are dynamic lists, and they will adapt as colleagues join us or move on.
If there are communities that you would like to join, or areas that you think would benefit from such a directory, do get in touch with us.
The World Health Organisation has estimated that there are 18.1 million new cases of cancer and 9.6 million deaths each year.
There is a huge worldwide effort to tackle the range of diseases that come under the term ‘cancer’, and the Eastern Arc universities are playing their part.
Together with colleagues in the Norwich Research Park, researchers are looking at the causes and triggers of cancer, its treatment, as well as technological interventions, service delivery and behaviours underlying the management of it.
We have almost 100 academics and researchers looking at a wide range of issues around cancer. To find out about their work, click here.
The Eastern Arc region is known for its agriculture, and our universities work closely with independent institutes in this area, including the Quadram Institute, John Innes Centre and East Malling Research (NIAB-EMR).
We also focus on the wider issues of logistics and the supply chain, of trade, transport and consumption, as well as understanding the wider framework of how we use natural resources, how we manage biodiversity and how we ensure sustainability.
As part of this we need to understand how, historically, we have interacted with the environment, but also how we respond to it creatively. Our environmental humanities explore this, and our directory includes performers, writers, historians and lawyers, among many others.
In addition, episode 6 and 7 of our podcast series hosted a discussion between three of our academics who work in this area. Click here to listen.
Populations are changing, and people are living longer than at any point in history; there are already more than a billion people around the world who are over the age of 60.
The United Nations ‘decade of healthy ageing’ (2021-30) has identified this as a priority and seeks to bring together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector to meet this challenge.
Across Eastern Arc we have a diverse range of researchers and academics who examine issues around ageing, and seek to provide answers and interventions to help us ‘age better’. We look at health, wellbeing, economic independence, inequalities, and a wide range of issues which underlie these.
In addition, we hosted a webinar on the healthy ageing priorities of Public Health England. To access the recording and slides from this, go to our events page.
Although significant advances have been made globally in improving health, increasing life expectancy and tackling communicable diseases, the UN has recognised that progress has slowed or stalled.
We can play a part in reversing this. Our work ranges from the clinical and scientific to the study of public health and health systems, and the examination of wider issues of wellbeing and mental health, which we focus on in a separate directory.
We also look at the culture and ethics of medical advances and developments in our understanding of health. We are home to researchers looking at health and human rights, philosophy and religion, medical authority and agency, and our artistic responses to health, through video, painting, writing and performance.
Image: Human passions delineated. Credit: Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
According to Mind, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England, and 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (like anxiety and depression) in any given week.
These numbers are growing. Between 1993 and 2014 the amount of people with common mental health problems went up by 20%, and those with severe symptoms rose from 7% to 9%.
Across Eastern Arc we have researchers and academics looking at a range of issues underlying our mental health. We look at specific diseases, their treatment, the policies affecting them, and the impact they have on family and the wider society.
The UN Foundation has stated that more than 258 million migrants are currently living outside their country of birth. With climate change, conflict and economic instability, this number is expected to rise, and it has never been more urgent to address issues around migration.
The Eastern Arc region has been shaped in part by movement and migration. The east and southeast of England is the stepping off point for many people coming to the UK, but also for those leaving. Our research reflects this, and we have experts in conflict, cooperation, indigenous rights, economic migration, and development policy, as well as the cultural responses to these.