The ACORN network kicked off today with a popular and interactive launch event. Suzanne Costello, CEO of the Public Health Institute of Ireland (itself a cross-border body) chaired the event, which was attended online by more than 60 researchers, policy and community colleagues and other stakeholders. Prof. Joe Barry delivered the first plenary presentation, focused on the background to and structure of the network.
All participants had the opportunity then to attend two of the four breakout sessions, each one focused on an ACORN theme. Colin Angus (University of Sheffield) led the Alcohol Pricing research theme, Prof. Niamh Shortt (University of Edinburgh) led the Alcohol Availability research theme, Dr. Pat Kenny (TU Dublin) led the Alcohol Marketing research theme and Dr. Matt Lesch (University of York) led the alcohol policymaking and politics research theme. Breakouts focused on setting the scene for research on each theme, highlighting the relevant work of ACORN members and lively discussions with those present. The discussions were fed back into the main plenary event by rapporteurs for each theme including Dr. Frank Houghton (Limerick IT), Dr. Nathan Critchlow (University of Stirling), Vania Filipova (TU Dublin) and Dr. Joanna Purdy (Institute of Public Health in Ireland).
In the final session, Prof. Niamh Fitzgerald (Institute for Social Marketing & Health, University of Stirling) presented the next steps for the network.
We are delighted to announce that ACORN is now open to interested colleagues to sign up.
You can sign up to the ACORN mailing list, express interest in attending our launch event, and/or apply to become a member of ACORN by completing a single form here. ACORN public events, activities and the ACORN mailing list, will be open to researchers, policy stakeholders and interested colleagues.
Membership of ACORN, and access to internal capacity building activities, will be restricted to researchers interested in building or developing UK-Ireland collaborations on alcohol policy research in one of our four priority themes (price, availability, marketing and politics/policymaking). ACORN welcomes interest from both early career and established researchers and from diverse academic disciplines.
The ACORN launch event will be held on Thursday 29th April at 1-4pm and will focus on building links between colleagues interested in our four themes. Breakout sessions will include an introduction to current UK-Ireland research on each theme and an opportunity for attendees to share their relevant research activities and interests. The plenary sessions will outline next steps including further network activities and capacity building opportunities. A draft programme is now available on our launch page, we will keep this updated with launch related news as it emerges!
ACORN reserves the right to exclude participants from activities where a conflict of interest is evident.