photo clean air

Air pollution has long been known to damage health and the environment, with recent research adding considerably to the knowledge base on how this occurs and why. However air pollution can be thought of as a wicked problem where no single solution will create the desired reductions necessary to meet targets based on health set by the WHO.

The Clean Air Champion(s) roles are to drive forward new research into air pollution in relation to adverse health and effects on the wider environment.

At present we know that air pollution of all types, and from multiple sources causes damage to living cells whether human, animals or plants. However, understanding the total exposure to air pollutants and mixtures across 24 hours and over much longer periods in real world settings is largely unknown.

The advent of new technologies in the field for personal and more localised pollution monitoring coupled with improved markers of damage and worsening of diseases will greatly strengthen the information required to introduce control of emissions and mitigation strategies for the benefit of society. Technologies that can be sustaining or disruptive also have a key role in cleaning up the air around us. The ability to create predictive models of adverse air pollution outcomes in relation to climate conditions, urban settings and indoors is an important part of this Air Pollution Solutions programme, but any such model requires validation with real world observations.

There is an urgent need to break down traditional barriers between physical, biological and health scientists on the one hand and the research community, industry and local and central government to translate knew knowledge on pollution to benefit the health and wealth of society.

The Champions bring together outstanding researchers across atmospheric, medical and social science to develop practical solutions for air quality issues, and then ensure that these interdisciplinary communities are connected to the public and wider policy and business environment to maximise the impact of their research. The Champions will also look to work wider, working with other national and international stakeholders to facilitate joint-working, identifying areas of common interest and ensuring no duplication.

The aims of the Clean Air Champion (s) are:

1) Identify and then undertake a mapping exercise to discern the goals and problems to be solved. 

2) Unify key researchers and stakeholders around visionary missions using a range of tools to engage the different communities ranging.

3) Uncover and challenge barriers/obstacles and produce workable interdisciplinary solutions.

4) Create new ideas leading to new interventions to test.

5) Translate these ideas into practical activities targeted at the right audiences.

6) Develop a professional and public communications strategy using the best available evidence available and convert these into positive messaging.

The Champions are:

Professor Stephen Holgate
Dr Jenny Baverstock
Dr Gary Fuller