Philippa Howden-Chapman

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Philippa Howden-Chapman

Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman.jpg
Howden-Chapman in 2007
Auckland, New Zealand
Alma mater University of Auckland
Known forResearch into housing insulation and heating in New Zealand
Spouse(s)Ralph Chapman
AwardsPublic Health Champion 2006 [1]
Joan Metge medal [2]
Liley medal [3]
Prime Minister's Science Prize [4]
Scientific career
Fields Public health, housing, social housing, health inequality, fuel poverty
Institutions University of Otago, Wellington
Website Staff page
Alternative staff page
Google Scholar page

Philippa Lynne Howden-Chapman QSO [5] is a professor of public health at the University of Otago, Wellington, and the director of the New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities. [6] [7]

Public health preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society and individuals

Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting human health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals". Analyzing the health of a population and the threats it faces is the basis for public health. The public can be as small as a handful of people or as large as a village or an entire city; in the case of a pandemic it may encompass several continents. The concept of health takes into account physical, psychological and social well-being. As such, according to the World Health Organization, it is not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

The University of Otago, Wellington is one of four component schools that make up the University of Otago Medical School. All University of Otago medical students who gain entry after a competitive Health Sciences First Year programme, or who gain graduate entry, spend their second and third years studying in Dunedin in a programme called Early Learning in Medicine (ELM), which is jointly taught by the Dunedin School of Medicine and the School of Biomedical Sciences. In their fourth, fifth, and sixth years, medical students study at either Dunedin School of Medicine; the University of Otago, Christchurch; or the University of Otago, Wellington.

The New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities states that it is an inter-disciplinary research centre "dedicated to providing the research base for innovative solutions to the economic, social, environmental and cultural development" of New Zealand urban centres. It states "87% of New Zealanders live in cities. The health and well-being of a significant proportion of population is reliant on developing environments that take into account the connections between transport, design, energy, health and governance and other issues."



Howden-Chapman started her career in secondary-school teaching, before moving to clinical psychology, and then public health.

Clinical psychology is an integration of science, theory, and clinical knowledge for the purpose of understanding, preventing, and relieving psychologically-based distress or dysfunction and to promote subjective well-being and personal development. Central to its practice are psychological assessment, clinical formulation, and psychotherapy, although clinical psychologists also engage in research, teaching, consultation, forensic testimony, and program development and administration. In many countries, clinical psychology is a regulated mental health profession.

She has conducted a number of high-profile randomised control trials into various aspects of housing and health, in the process helping to build the evidence base for the later New Zealand-wide insulation programme. Howden-Chapman's Healthy Housing group conducted an analysis of the Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart programme which showed that overall it "will have a net benefit of $951 million dollars, and a highly favourable benefit cost ratio of 3.9:1." [8]

Howden-Chapman was a member of the 2012 Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty, which outlined a number of policy recommendations to tackle child poverty in New Zealand. [9]

In November 2013, Howden-Chapman was made a fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. [10] [11]

In December 2014, Howden-Chapman and her research programme were awarded the $500,000 Prime Minister's Science Prize. She was the first woman and the first social scientist to win the prize. [4] [12]

Howden-Chapman is the current chair of the WHO Housing and Health Guideline Development Group. [7] She is also director of He Kāinga Orana, the Housing and Health Research Programme examining the link between housing quality and health, based in the University of Otago, New Zealand. [13] With a strong interest in reducing inequalities in the determinants of health, Howden-Chapman's research aims to identify and evaluate housing-related interventions to improve individual, family and community health. [13] Her research has had a major influence on housing, health and energy policy in New Zealand. [7]

Howden-Chapman was named the Supreme Winner of NEXT Woman of the Year 2018 for her advocacy for healthy, warm and dry homes in New Zealand. [14]

In October 2019, Howden-Chapman was appointed one of seven inaugural sesquicentennial distinguished chairs, or poutoko taiea, at Otago University. [15]

Selected publications

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Rutherford Medal (Royal Society of New Zealand) award of the Royal Society of New Zealand

The Rutherford Medal is the most prestigious award offered by the Royal Society of New Zealand, consisting of a medal and prize of $100,000. It is awarded at the request of the New Zealand Government to recognize exceptional contributions to the advancement and promotion of public awareness, knowledge and understanding in addition to eminent research or technological practice by a person or group in any field of science, mathematics, social science, or technology. It is funded by the New Zealand government and awarded annually.

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Sir Albert William Liley was a New Zealand medical practitioner, renowned for developing techniques to improve the health of foetuses in utero.

The KidsCan Charitable Trust is a charitable trust. Founded in 2005 in Greenhithe, Auckland, New Zealand by Julie Chapman, it works to help New Zealand kids living in poverty through a variety of programmes. They provide food, socks, shoes and raincoats to over 46,000 disadvantaged children.

Muriel Emma Bell CBE was a New Zealand nutritionist and medical researcher.

Elizabeth Joan Batham was a New Zealand marine biologist and university lecturer. A past president of the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society and a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Batham directed the Portobello Marine Biological Station at the University of Otago for more than 23 years.

Robin Wayne Carrell is a New Zealand-born medical researcher.

Keith Andrew Hunter was a New Zealand ocean chemist who was a professor of chemistry and pro-vice-chancellor of sciences, at the University of Otago.

Sue Wootton New Zealand poet

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Richard John Blaikie is a physicist who works in the field of nano-scale optics. He is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Otago.

Professor Michael Baker is an epidemiologist with the University of Otago. Baker is a member of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority's Academy and of the New Zealand Ministry of Health's Pandemic Influenza Technical Advisory Group (PITAG).

The Prime Minister's Science Prizes are awarded yearly by the Prime Minister of New Zealand. They were first awarded in 2009 in order to raise the profile and prestige of science among New Zealanders. The 2016 awards were presented in early 2017.

Ann Chapman New Zealand limnologist

Margaret Ann Chapman was a limnologist, one of the first New Zealand women scientists to visit Antarctica, and the first woman to lead a scientific expedition to Antarctica. Lake Chapman, in Antarctica's Ross Dependency, was named for Chapman. Chapman spent most of her teaching career at the University of Waikato.

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  1. "Public Health Champion 2006 – Philippa Howden-Chapman". Public Health Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 31 August 2013.
  2. "Dame Joan Metge Medal". The Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  3. "The Liley Medal". Health Research Council of New Zealand. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  4. 1 2 Morton, Jamie (2 December 2014). "Prestigious science prize awarded to housing champion". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 7 December 2014.
  5. "The New Zealand Order of Merit". New Zealand Gazette . New Zealand Government. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  6. "Philippa Howden-Chapman". New Zealand Centre for Sustainable Cities . Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  7. 1 2 3 "Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman, Department of Public Health". University of Otago . Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  8. "Evaluation of Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart". Healthy Housing / He Kainga Oranga. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  9. "Solutions to Child Poverty". Office of the Children's Commission. Archived from the original on 22 May 2013. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  10. "Leading Otago researchers elected as Royal Society Fellows". Otago University Bulletin Board. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  11. Royal Society of New Zealand (20 November 2013). "Top researchers, scholars elected Fellows of Royal Society". (Press release). Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  12. Chapman, Wallace (7 December 2014). "Social scientist wins PM's Science Prize". Radio New Zealand National. Retrieved 8 December 2014.
  13. 1 2 "Professor Philippa Howden-Chapman – Healthy Housing – He Kāinga Oranga". Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  14. "NEXT Woman Of The Year 2018 Revealed". Now To Love. Retrieved 12 October 2018.
  15. Gibb, John (1 October 2019). "University's prestigious poutoko taiea initiative recognises leading scholars". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 8 October 2019.