Assistant Director of Public Health Studies
James is a medical doctor trained in general practice and public health. He is a member of the Royal College of GPs and a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health UK. James has an interest and expertise in climate change and health. He previously worked as a public health consultant for Public Health England where he set up their Sustainability Programme Board and was part of the official UK delegation to the first Global Climate and Health Conference at the World Health Organisation. In addition to his university role James works part time as a local GP in Cambridge. He is the sustainability lead for the RCGP East Anglia Faculty.
James is the lead for the global health teaching for clinical medical students in Cambridge. He leads and delivers teaching on climate change and health, and sustainable healthcare. He runs the planetary health module in the new MPhil in Population Health Sciences (Autumn 2021 onwards). James does occasional teaching of other universities such as London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Oxford.
He is the co-lead of the sustainability theme for Cambridge Public Health Interdisciplinary Research Centre. In 2021-22 he is a Cambridge Zero David Mackay research associate at Darwin College. His research interests include decarbonisation of the healthcare, health co-benefits from climate action and how we can catalyse urgent systemic change to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. He supervises student projects on a range of research questions related to environmental sustainability and health, notably recently on inhalers in respiratory care. He sits on the NHS England national inhalers expert working group.
His role with The Public Health Education Group includes:
- leadership of global health and population health teaching strands (clinical students)
- development and delivery of teaching on environmental change and sustainability (clinical students)
- leading environmental epidemiology /planetary health teaching units (MPhil)
- supervision of students’ projects related to above subjects
- development and leadership of the Health for All initiative on social justice in medical education
- support Director of Public Health Education Group and leadership of Clinical School in further development of medical teaching programme
Purohit A, Smith J, Hibble A. Does telemedicine reduce the carbon footprint of healthcare? A systematic review. Future Healthc J. 2021 Mar;8(1):e85-e91.
Smith JN, van Daalen KR, Venkatraman R. Climate change and its potential impact on menopausal hot flashes: a commentary, Menopause: July 2020 – Volume 27 (7) 816-817.
Wilkinson AJK, Braggins R, Steinbach I, Smith JN. Costs of switching to low global warming potential inhalers. An economic and carbon footprint analysis of NHS prescription data in England BMJ Open 2019; 9:e028763.
Smith JN, Hopkins R, Pencheon D. Could the Transition movement help solve the NHS’s problems? Journal of Public Health. 2016.
Smith JN. Radical Emissions Reduction – An Opportunity for Improving Health. Carbon Management. 2014, 5(5-6) 487-489.
Aston LM, Smith JN, Powles JW. Impact of a reduced red and processed meat dietary pattern on disease risks and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK: a modelling study. BMJ Open. 2012; 2:e001072.
Aston LM, Smith JN, Powles JW. Meat intake in Britain in relation to other dietary components and to demographic and risk factor variables: analyses based on the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of 2000/2001. J Hum Nutr Diet 2013 February;26(1):96-106.
Powles JW, Smith JN. Meat, Climate Change and Global Child Health. International Public Health Journal 2010; 2(4) 553-559.