Dr Val Curtis
About Val Curtis
Books: Don't Look, Don't Touch, the Science behind Revulsion, OUP, 2013 Gaining Control: How Human Behaviour Evolved, OUP, 2015
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Val is Director of the Environmental Health Group, a multidisciplinary group dedicated to improving hygiene, sanitation and water (WASH). She is trained in engineering, epidemiology and anthropology and studies human behaviour from an evolutionary perspective.
Val organises the Design of Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries MSc Module. She also teaches on the Tropical Environmental Health Study Module and gives an annual public health lecture at LSHTM. She also teaches on Global Health Masters courses at Imperial College.
Val leads the WASH work of the Environmental Health Group and pioneers a new approach to changing behaviour called Behaviour Centred Design. BCD combines the latest in behavioural science with a design process for developing and testing novel interventions. This has been applied successfully to novel interventions promoting handwashing, food hygiene, infant nutrition and exercise in Africa, Asia and in Europe as well as to product design, and is now being applied to sanitation and HIV related behaviour. SuperAmma is a recent successful handwashing promotion programme in India.
See Val's TED talk on how behaviour settings control what we do.
Val has studied and written about the evolution and function of disgust and its relationship to hygiene, manners and morality. She discusses why this matters in this Huffington post interview.
Val helped found the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap, is on the steering committee of the Toilet Board Coalition and advises public and private sector organisations on behaviour change.
- Behaviour change
Disease and Health Conditions
- Diarrhoeal diseases
- Human Behaviour
Gaining control: how human behaviour evolved
Aunger, R.; Curtis, V.;
Oxford University Press (New York, NY) 2015
Hygiene and health: systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects.
Freeman, M.C. ; Stocks, M.E. ; Cumming, O. ; Jeandron, A. ; Higgins, J.P. ; Wolf, J. ; Prüss-Ustün, A. ; Bonjour, S. ; Hunter, P.R. ; Fewtrell, L. ; Curtis, V. ;
Trop Med Int Health, 2014;
Effect of a behaviour-change intervention on handwashing with soap in India (SuperAmma): a cluster-randomised trial.
Biran, A. ; Schmidt, W.P. ; Varadharajan, K.S. ; Rajaraman, D. ; Kumar, R. ; Greenland, K. ; Gopalan, B. ; Aunger, R. ; Curtis, V. ;
Lancet Glob Health, 2014; 2(3):e145-54
Infection-avoidance behaviour in humans and other animals.
Trends Immunol, 2014; 35(10):457-64
Disgust as an adaptive system for disease avoidance behaviour.
Curtis, V.; de Barra, M.; Aunger, R.;
Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 2011; 366(1563):389-401
Planned, motivated and habitual hygiene behaviour: an eleven country review.
Curtis, V.A.; Danquah, L.O.; Aunger, R.V.;
Health Educ Res, 2009; 24(4):655-73
Masters of Marketing: Bringing Private Sector Skills to Public Health Partnerships.
Curtis, V.A.; Garbrah-Aidoo, N.; Scott, B.;
Am J Public Health, 2007; 97(4):634-41
Effect of washing hands with soap on diarrhoea risk in the community: a systematic review
Curtis, V.; Cairncross, S.
Lancet Infect Dis, 2003; 3(5):275-81
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