Anand Bhopal is a PhD researcher (2019-2023) working on the ethics and health policy dimensions of the climate change challenge.
Personal and professional background
Between finishing school in Edinburgh and starting medical school I spent a year in Mumbai, where I witnessed extremes of poverty, injustice and inequality and developed a personal relationship with my ancestral home. I came back and started medical school an idealist, spending much of my 6 years engaged in global health in some form or another alongside my studies. After two years of ‘house jobs’ at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary I had planned to pursue a career in infectious diseases but as fate would have it I first undertook a 12 month leadership and management fellowship working for the Medical Director of Public Health England. I caught a glimpse of public health in action, as well as its breadth and complexity, and quickly knew this is where I wanted to be. I moved to Norway in September 2018 and after working for a year at the Migrant Health Unit at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health I began a PhD at BCEPS – already it feels like home!
Why Climate change and health?
Before starting working as a doctor I did a Masters degree based at the School of Philosophy at University College London where I developed an interest in responsibility, in particular Iris Marion Young’s work on structural injustices. I am concerned about climate change and took the opportunity to write and think about climate change though only managing to scrape the surface while I was there. This is the defining challenge of our time and loaded with trade-offs to which the health sector has an important voice. The PhD finally has given me the time and space that the scope of this challenge needs and deserves.
We need more health researchers engaged in climate change research – come and join me!
Current research for BCEPS
After beginning my PhD in October 2019 I took the chance to spend 6 weeks in Ethiopia based at the Addis Centre for Ethics and Priority Setting (ACEPS), returning shortly COVID-19 struck. Like many PhD candidates, my research plans have been derailed but from the ashes new ideas have emerged, as well as side projects like ‘Decarbonising Healthcare’, a coalition building effort to engage healthcare workers and policy makers in addressing the carbon footprint of the health sector, and the ethics of the Norwegian oil fund. Currently, my main research focus is on the ethics of global inequalities in healthcare-related carbon emissions.
I hope to develop my skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods during the PhD and pursue a career in international health policy, ideally with one foot in the door at BCEPS. I hope to contribute my part to addressing global injustice in, and beyond, health.