Me, my newsletter, and I
My name is Alasdair. I am a paediatric doctor and researcher in childhood infectious diseases. I happened to be working on vaccine clinical trials at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was a very exciting time to be in vaccinology! I also led a programme of reviewing all published research about Covid-19 in children for the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health (RCPCH), in collaboration with an open access education community called, “Don’t forget the bubbles” (DFTB).
I quickly discovered there was an information vacuum around children and Covid-19 with both professionals and lay people desperate to know more.
Through this work I was invited to join the Lancet Commission on Covid-19 and schools, and the National Institute for Health Research working group on the Transmission of Covid-19 in Schools, among other things.
Both through DFTB and twitter, I did my best to provide a useful commentary on the state of science around children and Covid-19. This became more challenging the more contentious the issues became, particularly given the strong social media presence of highly polarised groups pushing particular policy agendas.
So why start a newsletter?
I can probably boil it down to 3 reasons:
Some topics are messy, and difficult to distil into short tweets on twitter
Some topics are made more controversial than they need to be by extreme groups on twitter, but are worth talking about
Some people seemed interested in knowing more about these things
I am lucky enough to know a bit about child health, infectious diseases, and clinical research, so I plan to write mainly about these things. This might end up including a lot about the pandemic for now (sorry), simply because that is what most of my focus has been on for the last 2 years. It certainly will not all be about Covid-19 though, and I hope to write about broader issues around kids health. I will do my best to make all material suitable for a general audience.
It was nice to meet you, and I hope to see you again soon!
Welcome to the party, Alasdair!
Ally I can find you some more work to do if you are bored? Not sure you should have any time for this during your PhD!