David Napier is Professor of Medical Anthropology at University College London (UCL) and Director of its Science, Medicine, and Society Network. He is also Co-editor of UCL’s Culture and Health book series, and himself author of several books and numerous articles on culture, health, vulnerability, and human wellbeing.
Much of Napier’s work is in applied medical anthropology, including policy work for WHO Europe, and involvement in three Lancet commissions: Climate Change and Health, Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, and Culture and Health, this last for which he served as lead author. Napier regularly writes for the press (e.g., Le Monde diplomatique), his work being featured in The New York Times, The Financial Times, and The Guardian, among others. For his activities with more than 100 charities, the UK government and research councils awarded him the first Beacon Fellowship in Public Engagement. He is also the recipient of the Burma Coalition’s Human Rights Award.
Napier has served as a consultant on vulnerable populations in the aftermath of natural and human disasters, having worked for, among others, CRISIS UK (national charity for homeless people), The United Nations, and the International Organization for Migration, and the World Health Organization where he currently serves on its Covid-19 Research Roadmap working group.
He is the Innovations Lead for Sonar-Global—a European Commission-funded network that applies social science knowledge to infectious disease outbreaks, to antimicrobial resistance, and to vaccine hesitancy—and International Chair of the new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Committee on Covid-19 and the Cultural Contexts of Health and Wellbeing.
Napier is currently the Global Academic Lead of Cities Changing Diabetes, involving more than eighty academic researchers working across the globe in 27 cities representing populations of more than 200 million people.