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Paul Whaley

Research student

Paul Whaley

LEC Building Lancaster University Bailrigg Lancaster LA1 4YQ

LA1 4YQ

United Kingdom

Research overview

"Science is supposed to be cumulative, but scientists only rarely cumulate evidence scientifically" - Chalmers, Hedges & Cooper.

My research is aimed at facilitating the implementation of systematic review (SR) methods in chemical risk assessment, to ensure that decisions in chemicals policy make best use of the best evidence.

While SR methods have been transformative in medicine, they are still a new approach to syntheising research about risks to health posed by chemicals; we believe SR methods have the potential to initiate a step-change in evidence-based regulatory procedures for chemicals similar to the one seen in healthcare over the last 3 decades.

My work involves development and validation of SR methods for chemical risk research, and operationalisation of quality assurance techniques to ensure only high-quality systematic reviews get published.

Project website: policyfromscience.com

Current Research

My current focus is on setting a best-practice standard for the conduct of systematic reviews in chemical risk research. This includes:

  • Developing toolkits for appraising the design and conduct of evidence reviews in toxicology and chemical risk research, both academic and regulatory;
  • Using the toolkits to gather empirical evidence of challenges in publishing high-quality evidence reviews;
  • Working with global stakeholders to develop and implement strategies for improving practices in conduct and publication of evidence reviews.

External Roles

  • Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Evidence-Based Toxicology Collaboration
  • Scientific Adviser to the Cancer Prevention and Education Society
  • Member of the European Environmental Bureau Chemicals Working Group
  • LEC representative to WHO Chemical Risk Assessment Network
  • Associate Editor for Systematic Reviews at Environment International

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