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Durham University

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Durham graduate named on Forbes 30 under 30 list

(18 May 2021)

Image of Dr Rebecca Webster

Dr. Rebecca Webster, a Durham graduate, has been named on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list in the Science and Healthcare category. The accolade celebrates young people who have made an outstanding contribution to scientific research or discovery.

Rebecca was named in the list due to her pioneering research into nocebo effects (the opposite of the placebo effect, when assumptions about the negative impact of a treatment cuse the treatment to have a negative impact) and coronavirus behaviours. Her work has influenced the UK government’s response to the pandemic and two of her reviews were featured in the WHO coronavirus roadmap review.

Speaking about her success, Rebecca says:

"It’s a huge honour to be included as a Forbes 30 under 30 honouree, recognising the work that myself and my colleagues have done to support and advise the government through the pandemic.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Durham, and it certainly provided a perfect springboard for future success. The undergraduate degree provided me with a strong basis across all areas of Psychology, with a key focus on research methods, which set me up well for my future career. Combining this with the collegiate and social experiences at Durham, made for an excellent 3 years, and one I look back on fondly."

Now a lecturer in Psychology at Sheffield University, Rebecca completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Van Mildert College at Durham before going on to study for an MSc andPhD at King’s College London. Immediately following her doctoral studies she remained at KCL as a postdoctoral researcher within the Health Protection Research Unit in Emergency Preparedness and Response and during this time, also spent a year researching at the University of Oxford.

Forbes compiles the 30 under 30 list every year to “highlight the young visionary leaders brashly reinventing business and society”. In total, 300 young Europeans are chosen across 12 different industries and 32 different countries.

This is the sixth annual Europe 30 under 30 list. 2021winners also include Marcus Rashford, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Emma Corrin.

The full results can be viewed online via the Forbes website.

Hear more from Rebecca about her time at Durham and what this fantastic achievement means to her.