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Research project

The Footnotes Project

Project overview

Feet are an emotive subject - revered, rejected, mythologised and diminished. The podiatry profession manages limb and life-threatening health conditions of the foot as well as less serious conditions, as do other regulated health professions, but has perceived status as largely technical and trivial. As noted in a recent BBC Radio 4 Made of Stronger Stuff podcast, this part of the anatomy has many overlooked attributes that do not inform these perceptions so we aim to find out more about the perceptions that people have of feet and raise awareness of the positive perceptions as well as the reasons for the 'ick' factor that people have about feet. We aim to make the education and healthcare sectors aware of this perception to inform policy and public health messages about early detection of pathology and appreciation of the diversity of feet that may be masked in pre-BLM education. The Footnotes project is using social media to gather perceptions of feet which are analysed with citizen scientists to deliver the messages in clear themes using language common to Southampton residents.
The Footnotes Project is funded by the Public Engagement and Research unit at the University of Southampton.


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