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Festival of Politics
9-11 August 2023

Friday, August 11, 2023

The language of poo. Can words disengage communities?

Time: 1:15pm to 2:45pm

In partnership with the Cross-Party Group on Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Cross-Party Group on Health Inequalities

£6 full price and £4 concession

Event description

Join the panel to discuss how our choice of language could create barriers for people to understand their health and access health services and consequently exacerbate health inequities. Is current public health messaging ‘turning off’ some of our communities? Is the current process for developing public health messaging fit for purpose? How can we create health messages to reduce health inequalities?

Chair: Pauline McNeill MSP, Convener, Cross-Party Group on Inflammatory Bowel Disease


Graphic containing images of panellists Burcu Borysik, Doctor Josephine Adekola, Professor Jason Leitch CBE.

Burcu Borysik was appointed as Head of Policy and Campaigns of Crohn’s & Colitis UK in March 2022. She joined from Royal Society from Public Health where she led policy and communications for the charity. She has extensive experience in designing policy to tackle health inequalities and leading service design and innovation for people who face severe and multiple social exclusion. 

Prof Jason Leitch has worked for the Scottish Government since 2007 and in January 2015 was appointed as The National Clinical Director. He is responsible for quality in the health and social care system, including patient safety and person-centred care, NHS planning, and implementing quality improvement methods across the government and the broader public sector. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, he has played a key role in public health communication and engagement.

Dr Josephine Adekola is a lecturer in strategy communication/science and technology policy at the University of Glasgow with an interest in disaster risks, risk communication, risk assessment, public engagement, and science and technology policymaking. She is currently a Programme Director of the Professional Pathway at the Adam Smith Business School, and a member of the Scottish Government Vaccine Inclusive Steering Group, and Ethnicity Data Short Life Working Group. 


All Scottish Parliament event locations:

  • are accessible by lift or level access, and venues are accessible to wheelchair users
  • welcome guide dogs or other assistance dogs

Some venues are fitted with induction loop facilities.

Please contact us in advance if you have any access requirements.  

Further information on accessibility at the Scottish Parliament.

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Friday, August 11, 2023

Scotland’s poverty problem

Time: 1:30pm - 3pm

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