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The Dish - February 2022

The days are getting longer and Christmas feels like a distant memory - give yourself a big pat on the back for making it through January, and treat yourself to a steaming mug of tea to accompany this month's Dish.

Last month, our super friendly virtual meet-up continued. Hosted this time by Darcy Murphy and Seth Thomas, the January Download covered transgender data in electronic health records and the Data Skeptic podcast. Join our next Download on Tuesday 8th March at 6pm GMT.

Fun, vibrant community seeking companionship, maybe more Valentine's Day is soon to be upon us and DSxHE is looking for partnersto help build the community and support our activities. Four different types of partnerships are available - core, theme, event, and media; check out our partnerships page for full details.

Highlights from the Library: the Digest The DSxHE Library is your one-stop shop for all the articles, podcasts, papers, blogs, videos, funding calls, events and training opportunities share across our Slack workspace. In the DSxHE Digest, we'll pick out a couple of our favourite articles for your delectation. Keep scrolling to sample these and to find out about other upcoming events, job opportunities, resources and funding calls from across the community.

In this edition's Member Spotlights, meet two members of our organising team: the magnificent Mei Sum Chan and the exceptional Ellen Coughlan. Our Data Viz of the Month is an eye-catching depiction of the relationship between antidepressant use and density of street trees, by data journalist Mona Cholabi.

Bom apetite,

The DSxHE Team


And on today's menu....

News from DSxHE

Member Spotlights

Mei Sum Chan (she/her)

Health Analytics Consultant

Lane Clark & Peacock

Ellen Coughlan (she/her) Programme Manager

The Health Foundation


The Digest

Negative Patient Descriptors: Documenting Racial Bias In The Electronic Health Record T. Grote & G. Keeling This recent study has found racial bias in the extent of negative indicators used in electronic health record (EHR) patient notes; with words like 'agitated' or 'challenging'. Black patient records were found to be 2.54 times more likely to have at least one negative note compared to white patients, detected using a machine learning model. Although this study has limitations, e.g. it was performed at a single medical centre in Chicago, it brings to light concerns about discriminatory language in EHRs and the potential exacerbation of healthcare inequalities.


On Algorithmic Fairness in Medical Practice M. Sun et al. Although the application of machine learning tools in medical practice has the potential to improve the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of illnesses, there is a real danger that algorithmic bias could make existing health inequalities worse. This article, published last month in the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, provides a comprehensive account of the different sources of algorithmic bias and the potential impacts they can have on medical practice.


Hot off the press The UK Government just published the long-awaited Levelling Up white paper. The extensive document details a wide-ranging, ambitious programme aimed at reducing geographical variations in inequality. It highlights the numerous aspects of our lives where inequality is evident, many of which affect our health.


Want to see all the articles, podcasts, papers, blogs, videos, funding calls, events and training opportunities that have been shared across the DSxHE Slack workspace?


Data Viz of the Month

This data visualisation was drawn by Mona Chalabi, data journalist, representing findings from an article that appeared in Nature in 2020 titled "Urban street tree biodiversity and antidepressant prescriptions" by Marselle, Bowler, Watzema, Eichenberg, Kirsten and Bonn.

The article describes urbanisation as a threat to both mental health and biodiversity. The authors studied the association of tree density with antidepressant prescribing in Leipzig, Germany and found that for individuals with low socio-economic status, high density of street trees was associated with a lower probability of being prescribed antidepressants. They conclude that growing the urban forest could aid progress toward Sustainable Development Goals, promote better mental health and reduce social inequalities.


Call for events

Do you have an idea for an event that might be relevant to the DSxHE community? We have a fantastic (and growing) team of volunteers itching to help you plan, organise and promote it.

Call for themes

Want to shine a light on a specific area of interest in data science and health equity, and want to tap into the DSxHE community? Setting up a DSxHE Theme might be just the thing for you.


News from the Community

Upcoming events

Here's a few external events coming up in the next month that might float your boat. If there's an event you'd like to highlight on a future edition of this newsletter, then post in on #events on our Slack workspace or get in touch.


Funding calls

We've rounded up some highlights below - come and join our Slack channel to keep updated with the latest funding opportunities.

  • Data Science for Social Good (DSSGx) Fellowship: DSSGx gives aspiring data scientists the opportunity to refine their data science skills through intense training, and by working in small supervised teams on real-world data mining, machine learning, and data science project over 12-weeks. Fellows will receive a stipend covering their living costs and expenses. Deadline 14th February 2022 12noon GMT.

  • DSSGx Project Partners: non-profit or government organisations with a data science challenges are invited to apply to become a project partner, free of charge. Deadline 18th February 12noon GMT

  • GSK Scholarships for Future Health Leaders are available to applicants intending to study an MSc programme at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the 2022-23 academic year. Applicants must be nationals of, and residents in, countries in sub-saharan Africa. Deadline 27th February 2022.


Job opportunities

Looking for your next career move or project? We'll bring you a rundown of new roles and opportunities to further health equity through data science. If you're looking to find the next bright star in your team, share your advert with the community on Slack:


That's all folks!


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