Geoff has an MSc in Medicinal Chemistry and an interest in ME, Parkinson’s Disease and TB. He is a writer with lived experience of chronic illness after becoming ill with ME aged 13. Initially too ill to attend school, as his health improved he found accessing education was dependent on helpful and sympathetic personnel rather than on structures and regulation.
Geoff’s main areas of concern are the societal barriers limiting access to education for children and young people with severe chronic illness, the media’s misrepresentation of ME, and the misuse of science to promote harmful ideologies. His personal experience in studying with the Open University has demonstrated how access can be provided if the correct systems are in place in an institution designed to be inclusive, although recent changes to the OU’s structure and funding risk restricting access to people with chronic illness.
Social and cultural exclusion have played a large part in Geoff’s life and he is keen to promote mechanisms, primarily via online platforms, to increase the participation of the chronically ill and disabled in the workplace. He has a keen interest in the social/political/cultural aspects of exclusion.
Geoff is an adviser to the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project, a co-author of the uttingwolffSpouts blog, which has written about the PACE trial from a social and scientific perspective, a Trustee of a new ME charity, and an Associate Member of The Royal Society of Biology (AMRSB). He is also a keen naturalist and conservationist.