I was in Newcastle today, visiting the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University, where I’d been asked to present some work to the alcohol team. It was great to be back in the north-east again – I was born and grew up in Stockton-on-Tees, and there’s something about getting on the train from King’s Cross which takes me right back.
After my talk I got to chat to some of the members of the team about what they are up to. It’s an interesting set-up in Newcastle – lots of bright young researchers, the majority of them women, genuinely interested in alcohol and its effects, and all wanting to make a difference. Perhaps the location drives that interest – the north east is a hot-spot for alcohol consumption and harms, topping the list of UK regions for both, and even as I made my way back to the train station in the early evening there were signs that people were already out on the town.
It was good to meet new colleagues today – quality people doing quality research. Academia is often so fragmented that visiting another university and talking to people about what they are doing and why can only be a good thing.
So thanks to Dorothy Newbury-Birch, Stephanie O’Neil and Amy O’Donnell for their hospitality, and for giving me plenty to think about on the journey home.