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Dr Lesley Henderson

Dr Lesley Henderson
Reader - Sociology and Communications

Marie Jahoda 144

Research Interests

Lesley is a full member of the Welfare, Health and Wellbeing theme in the Institute for the Environment, Health & Societies. Her research and publications explore issues of communication and social change. Specifically her work traces the production, transmission and audience reception of media messages concerning health, science; social problems and political disconnection. Currently she is researching (micro)plastics pollution. Previous substantive topics include media and mental distress, breast cancer, human genetics, childhood immunisation, infant feeding, social care. Her key interest lies in exploring how public issues are packaged and transmitted and the factors that influence social change.

Lesley’s research is problem orientated and policy relevant. It has attracted funding from various sources (e.g. AHRC, ESRC, Nuffield, Dept of Health, Primary Care Trusts). She regularly works with policy makers, journalists and programme-makers as well as different charities and organisations for which she occasionally conducts short consultancies.

Current research explores cross cultural environmental communication concerning plastics pollution and uses creative, cutting edge digital tools to track public engagement and social change.

Director Centre for Culture, Media and Regulation (2012-15)

Member: Institute of Environment, Health and Societies

Member: Science, Technology and Society (STS) Research Cluster 

Member: Human Centred Design Institute (HCDi)

Research supervision

Emeka Dumbili: Media, Alcohol Consumption and Young People in Awka, Nigeria; Awarded 2015

Miri Moon Journalistic Challenges and Global Dynamics of News Gathering in the South Korean Peninsula; Awarded 2015

Marta Villela Vila: Social Media, Gender and Health; Completion for 2019

Lama Alhamourri: Framing and Perception of the US Presidential Election 2008 in Arab media; Awarded 2014

Gabrielle Samuel: Media Representations of Experimental Neuroscience; Awarded 2014.

Research project(s) and grant(s)

Current Projects

Storytelling & Public Health: Digital Methods, Media Advocacy & Social Change

2015- 16

Lesley Henderson (PI)

(£6,906, Research Catalyst IDEA award).

'From Plastic Pollution to Solutions: Public Communication of Environmental and Health Risks'

2015- 17 (£75,000, Brunel University London/Plastic Oceans Foundation)

Lesley Henderson (PI) and Susan Jobling (CI)

'Culture Clashes: Communication Challenges in a Changing World'


Lesley Henderson (PI)

(£3,000, Brunel Research Seminar Series Awards)

Health Communication in Cross Cultural Settings2012 -Lesley Henderson (PI)

Young People, Media and Health2012 -Lesley Henderson (PI)

Recently Completed Projects

SHIFT, Mental Health AttitudesMental Distress in Popular Television Drama2010Lesley Henderson (CI)

Arts and Humanities Research CouncilTelevision News, Current Affairs and Young People: The problem of disconnection’£108,3392006 - 2008Lesley Henderson (CI)

Special Research Institute(s)