Philosopher is shortlisted for new national health award

  • Date

    Fri 10 Aug 18

Professor Wayne Martin

Professor Wayne Martin, from the School of Philosophy and Art History, has been shortlisted in the Best Research category of a new award launched by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Wellcome Trust.

He is in the running for a Health Humanities Medal for his work on the Essex Autonomy Project (EAP), which has made an impact on national and international legal frameworks and helped frontline health and care staff deal with complex decisions.

The Project has included looking at compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – an international treaty seen as a vital step in realising the right of disabled people to be treated as full and equal citizens.

Members of the EAP team supported the UK Ministry of Justice’s review of the Mental Capacity Act’s compliance with the UN Convention and were asked to assess compliance across the UK’s three devolved jurisdictions.

Professor Andrew Le Sueur
"Wayne's work is...connecting theory to real problems, straddling disciplines, and aiming to improve people's lives and understanding of the world."
Professor Andrew Le Sueur executive Dean (humanities)

In collaboration with psychiatrist, Gareth Owen at King's College London, Professor Martin and colleagues have developed a ground-breaking research technique – ‘second person phenomenology’ – which combines approaches from philosophical phenomenology with psychiatric interview techniques to shed light on the experience of decision-making in people with serious mental illness.

Professor Andrew Le Sueur, Executive Dean (Humanities), said: “Wayne’s work is the epitome of humanities research at the University of Essex: connecting theory to real problems, straddling disciplines, and aiming to improve people’s lives and understanding of the world.

“Colleagues across the Faculty are hugely proud of Wayne’s nomination, which reflects his contributions to academia and development of public policy.”

Professor Martin has published widely in journals including Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology and The Journal of Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. He has also given evidence to a special session of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and at a special joint committee of the Northern Ireland National Assembly.

He is currently leading a strand of a major Wellcome Trust project, the Mental Health and Justice Initiative.

The new AHRC Health Humanities Medal, launched in association with the Wellcome Trust, recognises for the first time the people and projects that are helping inform and transform our quality of life, health and wellbeing using arts and humanities research. The winners will be announced at the House of Commons on 11 September.