Health Literacy Lab

Health Literacy Lab

There’s no secret sauce when it comes to communicating with people about science and health.  That’s because we all have different degrees of access, need, knowledge, and lived experiences. The Lab is a space where you can browse through our lessons and blog posting on an ever-expanding range of topics – from the problem with over-simplifying the science of pandemics to assuming graphs will save the day.

Human language is a remarkable tool that connects us to others, to what we think about and how we think about it, and it empowers us. Language can also create barriers to human engagement and diverse modes of thinking. Language establishes hierarchies of power and so to creates inequalities. We do not all have equal access to the information commons and the knowledge to live a better life.

Understandable, accurate, trustworthy health and science information is a basic ingredient for a healthier, safer and more equitable society. But it is increasingly clear that the public is overfed and undernourished. Awash with changing public health messages, 24/7 broadcast news media, social media, and the discourse of daily life, the Covid Pandemic (2020-21) makes clear that we have to re-think how to communicate effectively.

We are linguists, anthropologists, social scientists and educators who’ve spent decades researching, teaching and crafting and evaluating a wide range of health and science communication tools and campaigns. Print, mixed media, e-Health, social media – top down and community up.

The Library contains a free and ever-growing collection of lessons that address topics such as:

  • People and Language: how does language work and what happens when it doesn’t.
  • What is Health Literacy/ What isn’t it
  • Simple & Complex Language: A Deep Dive
  • The Language of Special Topics such as communicating risk, complex emergencies, uncertainty and research data.