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Speaker Biography

Soo Downe

Soo Downe, Professor of Midwifery Studies, School of Public Health and Clinical Sciences, University of Lancashire

Soo spent 15 years working as a midwife in various clinical, research, and project development roles at Derby City General Hospital. In 2001 she joined the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in England, where she is now the Professor of Midwifery Studies. She set up the UCLan Midwifery Studies Research Unit in October 2002. She now leads the Research in Childbirth and Health (ReaCH) group. She currently chairs the UK Royal College of Midwives Campaign for Normal Birth steering committee, and she co-chairs the ICM Research Standing Committee. She has been a member of a number of national midwifery committees, and she recently chaired the joint Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists/National Patient Safety Agency subcommittee on the nature of evidence for maternity care. She was a member of the UK Medical Research Council College of Experts until it was disbanded in 2009, and she has held a number of visiting professorships, most recently in Belgium, Hong Kong, Sweden, and Australia. Her main research focus is the nature of, and culture around, normal birth. She is the editor of Normal Birth, Evidence and Debate (2004, 2008), and the founder of the International Normal Birth Research conference series.