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Charlotte Rosalind Blease

Post Doc Research Fellow Lvl I

School Of Philosophy
Newman Building
Belfield
Dublin 4

Tel:
Email: charlotte.blease@ucd.ie

Biography

 Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, I was educated at University College London, and Queen's University, Belfast where I completed a PhD on philosophy of science and philosophy of mind (entitled 'Paul Churchland's Arguments for Eliminative Maternalism'). Prior to my fellowship at UCD I was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Mind, Brain and Cognitive Evolution, Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany (2013). Before this I lectured in philosophy at Queen's University, Belfast (2008-12). My current two year Government of Ireland Fellowship focuses on interdisciplinary research into the role of the placebo effect in psychotherapy. I am passionate about promoting public understanding of science, medicine, and healthcare.

 Research

·      Details of my publications (including pdfs) and my cv are available on my academia page: http://ucd-ie.academia.edu/CharlotteBlease

·      My citations (since 2009) - 47; h-index - 4; i10-index - 1 (last updated 31 October 2014).

Recent Awards

·      In December 2013 I was awarded a Royal Irish Academy Mobility Grant to undertake research at the prestigious Program in Placebo Studies, Harvard Medical School where I presented by work. (Award: ¿1875)

·      In June 2014, following an award from the Brocher Fondation (Switzerland) I was Principal Organiser of the first international workshop on placebo effect in psychotherapy. This was an interdisciplinary event with representatives from 14 countries. (CHF 8000).

·      In July 2014 I won the prestigious Annual Evolution and Human Behavior Essay Competition for an essay on the theme 'Human Sociality and the Internet'. This award enabled me to attend the annual Evolution and Human Behavior Society Annual Conference in Natal, Brazil (£500).

Recent Outreach & Impact

·      In November 2013 I was invited to debate on stage at the annual medical-literary festival 'Medicine Unboxed' in Cheltenham, England. The debate was on the role of philosophy in medicine. Other panelists were the philosopher and writer Julian Baggini and the Editor of the journal Medical Humanities, Prof. Deborah Bowman (audience: 400 including doctors and other healthcare professionals, and the public).

·      In November 2013 I was invited to write a feature article on the role of the humanities in medical education for The Guardian, ahead of Medicine Unboxed (http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/nov/04/medical-humanities-doctors-humane).

·      In April 2014 I gave a talk at TEDx Fulbright Dublin entitled 'Hypocritical Oaths: Medicine's Dirty Secrets' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3VRtjbON8Q

·      My talk was later selected by TEDx as their 'Editor's Picks' in August 2014 (9,470 views as of 31/10/14).

·      In May 2014 I was invited to contribute to the BBC Radio 3 programme 'Free thinking' to debate the nature of psychiatry with historian Dr. Matthew Smith ahead of a symposium Dr Smith had organized in Switzerland (and to which I had been invited to speak) (Listenership: 200,000).

·      In September 2014 I was invited as key note speaker at the British Philosophical Postgraduate Association to speak to postgraduate philosophy students about my experiences of using philosophy outside ¿traditional¿ academic philosophy.

Presentations

  ·    In the last twelve months - from the beginning of my Fellowship - I have been invited to give nine lectures. Seven of these have been invitations. These include Harvard Medical School, Brocher Fondation, Geneva, Kings College London, Leeds University, Trinity College Dublin, Annual Meeting for Human Behavior and Evolution in Brazil, Society for Women in Philosophy, Ireland.

·      In 2015 I will also speak at the Royal Irish Academy (at a medical humanities event in March) and at Bristol University (at a philosophy of medicine forum in May).

http://ucd-ie.academia.edu/CharlotteBlease



Professional

Honours and Awards

Year: 2014.
Title: Winning Entry Human Behaviour & Evolution Essay Competition
Year: 2014.
Title: Royal Irish Academy Mobility Grant
Year: 2013.
Title: Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship
Year: 2013.
Title: Brocher Foundation, Switzerland
Year: 2012.
Title: BBC New Generation Thinkers 2012-13
Year: 2012.
Title: Royal Institute of Philosophy Award
Year: 2011.
Title: Royal Institute of Philosophy Award
Year: 2011.
Title: Jacobsen Fellowship
Year: 2005.
Title: DEL PhD Award
Year: 2005.
Title: Peel Prize in Philosophy, Queen's University London
Year: 1997.
Title: Entrance Scholarship, University College London

Associations

Association: Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies, Function/Role: Founding Member
Association: Society for Women in Philosophy, Function/Role: Member
Association: Human Behavior and Evolution, Function/Role: Member
Association: De Gruyter Open, Function/Role: Associate Editor for Culture
       

Committees

Committee : Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies

Employment

Employer: CCEA (Northern Ireland Exams Board)
Position: Advisor for Philosophy and Religious Studies Curriculum
Employer: Center for Mind, Brain, and Cognitive Evolution
Position: Research Fellow
Employer: Queen's University Belfast
Position: Lecturer
Employer: BBC
Position: Contributor

Education

Year 2000 Institution: University College London
Qualification: BSc Subject: Science Policy and Communication
Year 2003 Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Qualification: MA (With Distinction) Subject: Philosophy
Year 2008 Institution: Queen's University, Belfast
Qualification: PhD Subject: Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mind
 

Consultancy

Client: CCEA

Outreach Activities

In November 2013 I was invited to debate on stage at the annual medical-literary festival ¿Medicine Unboxed¿ in Cheltenham, England. The debate was on the role of philosophy in medicine. Other panellists were the philosopher and writer Julian Baggini and the Editor of the journal Medical Humanities, Prof. Deborah Bowman. 

In November 2013 I was invited to write a feature article on the role of the humanities in medical education for The Guardian, ahead of Medicine Unboxed.

In April 2014 I gave a talk at TEDx Fulbright Dublin. It was a real privilege to attend this event as preference was given to Fulbright Scholars at the application stage (and I have not had this honour). My talk was later selected by TEDx as their ¿Editor¿s Picks¿ in August 2014.
In May 2014 I was invited to contribute to the BBC Radio 3 programme ¿Free thinking¿ to debate the nature of psychiatry with historian Dr. Matthew Smith ahead of a symposium Dr Smith had organized in Switzerland (and to which I had been invited to speak).
In September 2014 I was invited as key note speaker at the British Philosophical Postgraduate Association to speak to postgraduate philosophy students about my experiences of using philosophy outside ¿traditional¿ academic philosophy.
 

Other Activities

Peer reviewer for the following research bodies, journals, and academic publishers:
Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK
British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 
British Medical Journal
Dove Medical Press
Journal of Medical Ethics
Mind-Body Regulation
MIT Press
Review of General Psychology
Sociology Compass
Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science
Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics
The Wellcome Trust 

Publications

 

Book Chapters

C. Blease & M. Smith (2016) 'Social and Evolutionary Psychiatry: Diagnosing Psychiatry' In: M. Smith (eds). Mental Health in Historical Perspective. London: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
C. Blease (2014) 'Informed Consent, the Placebo Effect and Psychodymanic Psychotherapy' In: Thomas Schramme (eds). New Perspectives in Medical Paternalism. London: Springer-Verlag. [Details]
C. Blease and R. Cooper (2014) 'Kuhn's Paradigms' In: R. Cautin and S. Lilienfeld (eds). Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [Details]
C. Blease and R. Cooper (2014) 'Kuhn' In: R. Cautin and S. Lilienfeld (eds). Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [Details]
R. Cooper and C. Blease (2014) 'Duhem-Quine Thesis' In: R. Cautin and S. Lilienfeld (eds). Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. [Details]
C. Blease (2012) 'Dismissing depression: Folk theorizing and stigmatization' In: Havi Carel and Rachel Cooper (eds). Health, Illness and Disease: Philosophical Essays. UK: Acumen. , pp.175-188 [Details]
C. Blease (2012) 'Eliminative Materialism' In: M. Bruce and S. Barbone (eds). Just the Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Arguments in Western Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley. , pp.348-349 [Details]
 

Peer Reviewed Journals

C. Blease (2010) 'Scientific Progress and the Prospects for Culture-Bound Syndromes'. Studies in the History and Philosophy of the Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 41 :333-339. Available Online [Details]
C. Blease (2012) 'Mental Health Illiteracy? The Unnaturalness of Perceiving Depression as a Disorder'. Review of General Psychology, 16 (1):59-69. [DOI] [Details]
C. Blease (2014) 'The Duty to be Well-Informed: The Case of Depression'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 40 :225-229. [DOI] [Details]
C. Blease (2013) 'Electroconvulsive Therapy, the Placebo Effect and Informed Consent'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39 (3):166-170. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
C. Blease (2013) 'Electroconvulsive Therapy: The Importance of Informed Consent and 'Placebo Literacy': Response to Julie K. Hersh'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 39 (3):175-176. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
C. Blease (2012) 'The Principal of Parity: The Placebo Effect and Physician Communication'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 38 (4):199-203. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
C. Blease (2011) 'Deception as Treatment: The Case of Depression'. Journal of Medical Ethics, 37 (1):13-16. Available Online [DOI] [Details]
   

Published Reports

Various (2014) Psychotherapy and the Placebo Effect: An Ethical Analysis. Irish Research Council, Irish Research Council. [Details]
                                                                                       

Research

Research Interests

 My research is in cognitive science, philosophy of science and medicine. My research bent is strongly interdisciplinary. I am currently researching doctor-patient (and health practitioner-patient) relationships. My two-year postdoctoral award is for research into the role of the placebo effect in psychotherapy.

 

Two Year Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship

 

My IRC funded research project is on a specific aspect of doctor-patient psychology: the placebo effect. My focus, then, is on the evidence that 'healing' can occur in the consultation through non-pharmacological means. The placebo effect is a therapeutically beneficial, mind-body effect that can arise across a range healthcare interactions  including ones that do not involve scientifically-based practice.

 

For over eighty years it has been hypothesized that psychotherapy is effective because it harnesses the placebo effect. As early as the 1930s it was hypothesized that different versions of psychotherapy were equally effective but not for the reasons theorized by different models of therapy. This is often dubbed the 'Dodo hypothesis' taken from the words of the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland "At last", the Dodo said, "Everyone has won and all must have prizes". In the last twenty years there has been notable scientific agreement about the Dodo hypothesis:  meta-analyses show is that there is no clinically significant difference in the relative efficacy of different versions of psychotherapy (including psychodynamic therapies, CBT, and person-centered therapies). These findings cast major doubt on the specific, divergent, theoretical tenets aimed at explaining each distinct version of psychotherapy: it has been argued that it is the common factors among different versions of psychotherapy that in fact explain the comparable therapeutic benefits. In short: therapists may be wrong about the real reasons why their particular version of psychotherapy works. This doesn't mean that psychotherapy is not effective - it is. The challenge is to find out why psychotherapy works and the aim of my project is to articulate how practitioners might harness its potential in an ethical and efficient way.

 

Research Interests:

Cognitive Science

Evolutionary Psychology

Philosophy of Science

Philosophy of Medicine (including Psychiatry)

Healthcare Ethics   

     

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy

 

Enhancement of Teaching

Review and Enhancement of Curriculum

Developing as a Teacher

Innovation & Leadership

Collaborators

Internal Collaborators

School of Philosophy
Dr. Christopher Cowley

School of Medicine and Medical Science

Dr. Brendan Kelly 

External Collaborators

Program in Placebo Studies, Harvard Medical School
Professor Irving Kirsch
Professor Ted Kaptchuk 
Professor John Kelley
Dr. Joey Kossowsky 
 
Division of Psychology and Psychotherapy, Basel University
Professor Jens Gaab 

School of History, University of Limerick 
Dr. Ciara Breathnach