Flora Cornish is Associate Professor in Qualitative Research Methodology. She received her PhD in 2004 from the LSE’s Institute of Social Psychology, and is also a graduate of the Department of Methodology’s MSc in Social Research Methods. She joined LSE as a Lecturer in 2011, following positions at the University of Cambridge and Glasgow Caledonian University. She is an Assistant Editor of Social Science & Medicine and Advisory Editor of the Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology.
Flora Cornish’s research addresses the role of community mobilisation and partnerships in improving public health. She has a long-standing research engagement with HIV prevention projects led by sex workers in India. Her recent work has focused on the relations between local grassroots realities and globalising development policies and management practices, in the context of efforts to mobilise communities to tackle HIV/AIDS. Social science methodologies comprise an important part of the global environment of health and development projects. Flora has current research interests in the uses of ‘evidence-based practice’, monitoring, evaluation and accountability, and the role of qualitative research as a source of useful evidence. In the Department of Methodology ‘Communicating Chronic Pain’ project, she is working on the question of the ways in which non-textual methods of expression of pain can constitute useful evidence. Flora’s approach to doing social scientific research is informed by a pragmatist interest in constituting a better future, and a dialogical assumption that human realities are characterised by tension, contradiction and diversity. She uses a range of qualitative research methods, with a particular interest in multi-level and multi-site ethnographies. She is interested in questions of the quality, rigour, and applicability of qualitative research, in the interest of making qualitative research matter.