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Jonathan has degrees in sociology and in social policy & administration. He was a researcher and lecturer in Medical Sociology and in Epidemiology & Community Health at the London Hospital Medical College and at the South Bank Polytechnic (now University). He was also a lecturer in Social Policy at the Middlesex Polytechnic (University) and on the visiting faculty (Community Health) at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He became head of research at Age Concern England and director of the Age Concern Research Unit, which became the nucleus of the Age Concern Institute of Gerontology at King's College London in 1984. From 1986-1988, Jonathan was a founding director of Keep Able and later became chief executive of Easier Living, an enterprise which promoted independent living options, using enabling products, technology and tasteful designs, for people with disabilities. It displayed these in the Accessibility House in New York. After a period at the University of Surrey in the early 1990s, Jonathan ran Third Age Consulting and then launched Far-sight RESEARCH in 1996.
Jonathan has lectured, written and researched widely especially in the fields of health & social care, consumer perspectives on services and policies and ageing & later life. His published works include:
He is also completing a novel, Ruts of History, and a book, Voting for Health? about the role of health policy in elections in Britain and the USA. Recently, Jonathan Barker has co-organized a budding music festival, the Musique-Cordiale Festival Musiques en Liberté, in the South of France and other musical events under the umbrella of the Canterbury Festival.