Royal Scottish Geographical Society Medal for Professor Niamh Shortt

Congratulations to Professor Niamh Shortt who has been awarded the Royal Scottish Geographical Society President’s Medal.

05 March 2021

The Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) President’s Medal recognises achievement and celebrates the impact of geographers’ work on wider society. Niamh will also receive an Honorary Fellowship with her medal.

Niamh is a Professor of Health Geographies and co-director of the Centre for Environment, Society and Health (CRESH) at the University of Edinburgh. She is an active member of the SPECTRUM Consortium, working across Work Package 5: Shaping the local environment to change behaviour and prevent harm.

Niamh’s research explores the relationship between health and place, with a focus on health inequalities between social groups and between neighbourhoods. Niamh has a particular interest in how features of the retail environment, including the sale of alcohol and tobacco, are unevenly distributed. Her research has demonstrated that the availability of outlets selling alcohol and tobacco are highest in our most deprived communities and that this has a disproportionate impact on low-income groups.

I am delighted to receive this medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. The Society has a mission to inspire and inform through its commitment to engage with public audiences and inform policy. Their commitment to engage with broader audiences is reflected in my approach to research. Our work has unveiled vast inequalities in health, and we need to take such findings beyond the University. In doing so, we can demonstrate how these health inequalities are avoidable, unfair, and shaped by a complex interaction of factors well beyond the rhetoric of individual responsibility.