- Davies, S.R., Franks, S., Roche, J., Schmidt, A.L., Wells, R. and Zollo, F. (2021). The landscape of European science communication. Journal of Science Communication, 20(03). doi:10.22323/2.20030201.
- Franks, S., Wells, R., Maiden, N. and Zachos, K. (2021). Using computational tools to support journalists’ creativity. Journalism pp. 146488492110105–146488492110105. doi:10.1177/14648849211010582.
- Strong, H. and Wells, R. (2020). Brexit-related food issues in the UK print media: setting the agenda for post-Brexit food policy. British Food Journal, 122(7), pp. 2187–2201. doi:10.1108/BFJ-08-2019-0582.
- Ingram, J., Ajates, R., Arnall, A., Blake, L., Borrelli, R., Collier, R. … White, R. (2020). A future workforce of food-system analysts. Nature Food, 1(1), pp. 9–10. doi:10.1038/s43016-019-0003-3.
- Wells, R. (2017). Mediating the spaces of diet and health: A critical analysis of reporting on nutrition and colorectal cancer in the UK. Geoforum. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2016.05.001.
- Reed, K., Collier, R., White, R., Wells, R., Ingram, J., Borelli, R. … Sykes, R. (2017). Training Future Actors in the Food System: A new collaborative cross-institutional, interdisciplinary training programme for students. Exchanges: the Warwick Research Journal, 4(2), pp. 201–218.
- Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2014). UK print media coverage of the food bank phenomenon: from food welfare to food charity? British Food Journal, 116(9), pp. 1426–1445. doi:10.1108/bfj-03-2014-0123.
London EC1V 0HB
Rebecca is a Lecturer in Food Policy in the Centre for Food Policy and the Programme Director for the Centre's MSc in Food Policy. Her research focuses on the interactions between food policy and the media, and developing food policy for a healthier, more sustainable and equitable food system. She has a particular interest in the pedagogy of food systems and was made a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2018.
A former BBC producer and food journalist, Rebecca joined the BBC in 1991 working on a variety of programmes including investigative and consumer output for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and the World Service, before becoming a producer on BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme in 1999. She produced dozens of documentaries for the Food Programme, on topics including food policy, food culture, food history, nutrition, environmental sustainability and food education, winning the Guild of Food Writers Michael Smith Award for British Food in 2004, the Glenfiddich Award for Best Radio Programme in 2004 and a Sony Radio Academy Awards nomination in 2005.
Rebecca joined City in 2011, taking up a PhD studentship awarded by the University. Her PhD took as a case study the UK Department of Health recommendations on red and processed meat consumption and cancer 1993-2011. The research looked at the ways policies were developed and policy interaction with UK print media, using policy analysis, content analysis of UK print media coverage and participant interviews with journalists and policy makers.
Following completion of her PhD, Rebecca worked as a Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow on the food systems teaching programme IFSTAL (Interdisciplinary Food Systems Teaching and Learning), a HEFCE funded project dedicated to creating a network of students from seven UK higher education institutions, working in different disciplines at postgraduate level in food systems. IFSTAL was a collaboration between the universities of Oxford, City, Reading and Warwick as well as the Royal Veterinary College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the School of Oriental and African Studies. The IFSTAL programme included the development of a unique online learning platform shared across the seven institutions; livestreamed lectures across the seven sites; joint workshops, symposia and lectures and an annual summer school.
in 2019 Rebecca worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow on the EU funded research project QUEST (Quality and Effectiveness in Science and Technology Communication), exploring science journalism as part of a wider programme looking at science communication across Europe. This project, led by Venice International University, was a collaboration between academics working in Science Communication from countries across Europe including Estonia, Ireland, Italy, Norway and the UK.
Rebecca's research interests include food policy, food in the media, food systems, food poverty, food banks, food security and science communication. She has a particular interest in food systems teaching and learning and is the co-lead for the Centre for Food Policy on the recently launched UKRI funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Food Systems, led by the University of Greenwich.
- PhD, City, University of London, United Kingdom, Aug 2011 – Jan 2018
- BA (Hons), University of York, United Kingdom
- Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, City, University of London, London, United Kingdom, 2014 – 2018
- Research Fellow, City, University of London, 2019 – 2020
- Teaching Fellow, City, University of London, Jan 2015 – Jan 2019
- Visiting Lecturer, Centre for Food Policy, MSc in Food Policy, City, University of London, Jan 2012 – Jan 2019
- Visiting Lecturer, Department of Journalism, MA in Science Journalism, City, University of London, Jan 2012 – Jan 2016
- Radio Producer, BBC, 1999 – 2011
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Higher Education Academy, 2018 – present
Programme Director: MSc Food Policy
SC3001 Food, Society and Culture (module leader)
PHM005 Health Policy & Politics
PH3001 Health Policy & Politics
FPM003 Food, Society and Culture (module leader)
FPM004 Food, Public Health and the Environment (module leader)
FPM005 Food Policy Dissertation (module leader)
Publications by category
- Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2020). Food Advertising and Marketing. In Merskin, D.L. (Ed.), The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Mass Media and Society (pp. 634–636). USA: SAGE Publications Inc. ISBN 978-1-4833-7553-3.
- Wells, R. and Caraher, M. (2017). From Food Advertising to Digital Engagements: Future Challenges for Public Health. In LeBesco, K. and Naccarato, P. (Eds.), The Bloomsbury Handbook of Food and Popular Culture (pp. 245–259). London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISBN 978-1-4742-9624-3.
- Wells, and Caraher, M. (2016). Britain's Hidden Hungry? The Portrayal of Food Bank Users in the U.K. National Press. In Servaes, J. and Oyedemi, T. (Eds.), The Praxis of Social Inequality in Media A Global Perspective Lexington Books. ISBN 978-1-4985-2347-9.
- Maiden, N., Zachos, K., Franks, S., Wells, R. and Stallard, S. (2020). Designing Digital Content to Support Science Journalism. NordiCHI '20: Shaping Experiences, Shaping Society.
- Ajates Gonzalez, and Wells, R. (2016). Tackling Food Topics. BSA Network Magazine, March, p.35.
Journal articles (7)
- Hawkes, C., Parsons, K. and Wells, R. (2019). Brief 2: Understanding the food system: Why it matters for food policy. London: Centre for Food Policy.
- Davies, S.R., Franks, S., Jensen, A.M., Mannino, I., Schmidt, A.L., Wells, R. … Zollo, F. Project QUEST: D1.1: Summary report: European Science Communication today..
- Reynolds, C., Isaacs, A., Neve, K., Pereira, L., Sharpe, R. and Wells, R. (2020). Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London response to the EFRA committee enquiry COVID-19 and food supply.
- 8th World Conference on Learning, Teaching and Educational Leadership (WCLTA 2017). (Conference) Lisbon, Portugal (2017).
Paper: Working with the Workplace – the IFSTAL experience of using real-life food systems challenges in Problem-Based Learning to enhance graduate student employability
Author: Wells, R.
- BSA Risk and Society Study Group Event: Risk in the Media. (Workshop) London (2017).
Paper: ‘Playing Bacon Roulette’: Media Reporting of Government Recommendations on Red and Processed Meat Consumption.
Author: Wells, R.
- Learning at City. (Conference) City, University of London (2017).
Paper: Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning: Overcoming disciplinary and teaching silos to fix the food system.
Author: Ajates, R.
Co-authors: Wells, R.
- Enough’s enough: Data gathering for PhD research. City University London (2014).
Description: Sociology PhD Anonymous session
- Boffins, Beef and the Big C – how the UK media report research into red and processed meat consumption. Centre for Food Policy, City University London (2013).
Description: PhD seminar
- Reporting Food Risk: What is the role of the journalist? Brussels (2013).
Description: FoodRisC/European Food Safety Authority Conference
- Evidence based policy? The development of recommendations on red and processed meat consumption by the UK Government's Department of Health. University of York (2013).
Description: Nutritional Guidelines and Standards: Past and Present perspectives
- Size Matters: Exploring content analysis methodology in a case study looking at media coverage of a BMJ paper. De Montfort University, Lecicester (2012).
Description: Research Methods in Media Discourse
- Read all about it? Media coverage of research in the BMJ on dietary fibre and colorectal cancer risk. NCRI Conference, Liverpool (2012).
Description: Poster Presentation
- Emerging research on food, nutrition and cancer prevention - how it is reported by the UK news media. Kings College London (2012).
Online articles (6)
- The elephant in the room at Paris climate talks: why food production must change. (2015). The Conversation Available at: https://theconversation.com/the-elephant-in-the-room-at-paris-climate-talks-why-food-production-must-change-51526
- Journalists feast on ‘food bank’ stories - some get indigestion. (2013). BBC College of Journalism Blog
- Hi-tech burger provides perfect media diet. (2013). BBC College of Journalism Blog
- Food bank users in the UK media – the hidden hungry or the fat, feckless poor? (2015). TiFSiP The Institute of Food Safety Integrity and Protection: Analysis
- Ecofeminism, Food and Social Justice Seminar Series: Sowing the seeds for a new era of research and activism? (2016). Food Research Collaboration News
- How can we train people in Food Systems Thinking? The IFSTAL experience. (2017). Blog: Dispatches from the Centre for Food Policy co-authored with Dr Annabel de Frece
Radio programmes (7)
- The Flu Race. BBC Radio 4 The "Spanish Flu" of 1918 killed more than 20 million people. In 1957 and 1968, millions more were afflicted as new strains of the virus spread worldwide. John Waite examines science's fight to stay one step ahead of the next influenza pandemic. Producer Rebecca Wells https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/46924db863dd4d0782b57d738325c089
- The Food Programme: Survival Food. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Derek Cooper
Producer: Rebecca Wells
- The Food Programme: Salt. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Derek Cooper
Producer: Rebecca Wells
- The Food Programme: Pigs. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Derek Cooper
Producer: Rebecca Wells https://genome.ch.bbc.co.uk/4c76dc42f3de4a81bf923139417e9112
- The Food Programme: Islay. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Andrew Jefford
Producer: Rebecca Wells
- The Food Programme: Richmond. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Derek Cooper
Producer: Rebecca Wells
- The Food Programme: The Whisky Roads of Scotland. BBC Radio 4 Presenter: Derek Cooper
Reporter: Dave Broom
Producer: Rebecca Wells