xkcd cartoon of person sitting at desk who says they can't come to bed because

“Duty Calls,” CC BY-NC Randall Munroe (xkcd)

Now, of course, all research has elements of critique. Academics love critiquing their peers. And, critique, of course, is an important part of the process for producing scientific knowledge.

But to do critically-engaged research is different. A critical approach to public health research engages more explicitly with the politics of health.

It is research that doesn’t intend to just understand a phenomenon by uncovering “facts” that we gather through a specific “mechanical process”,13 but instead it is explicitly focused on challenging the status quo — challenging what “we” believe to be true in public health, and attempting to understand phenomena within the oppressive structures of our society in which those phenomena exist and/or emerge.9, 12

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