Val is a behavioural scientist whose principal interest is in hygiene (its evolution, its history, its relationship with water and sanitation, and how to improve it). She is Senior Lecturer in Hygiene Promotion and directs the Hygiene Centre at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Originally trained in engineering, she has a Master’s in Public Health and a PhD in Anthropology.
She is on the board of management and the audit committee of the LSHTM and the management committee of the History Centre. She was a founder of the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap and is on the steering committee. Val organises the MSc study module on Designing Disease Control Programmes in Developing Countries and teaches Tropical Environmental Health. She carries out advisory work in Africa, Asia and the UK for organisations such as DFID, the World Bank and Industry.
Val is a regular contributor to TV and radio (Channel 4 series the Anatomy of Disgust, BBC Human Instincts, The Body Snatchers, Body shocks, Radio 4 Woman’s Hour, BBC World Service, etc).