14th European Public Health Conference 2021

10th to 12th November 2021, online.

European public health has not had a good COVID strategy. Across Europe the public health response to the pandemic has been largely unsuccessful. This is despite an enormous amount of very hard work in public health units all across the EU. This reflects a weakness within the profession, which has been manifested in the curious phenomenon of dual strands of public health advice, official and unofficial, in several EU countries. Politicians were placed in an impossible position by this. This needs to be openly and constructively faced.

So, the world of public health changes, but many key pieces remain the same. A key part is to hold to that which we value, and to build on that, and extend out from that, to meet new and pressing needs. A focus on where we are, and where we want to go might be helpful for clarification. The relevant word is ‘futures’, and not ‘future’. We expect an even more diverse public health, with the public health workforce delivering in new and more traditional arenas.

Public health futures in a changing world
‘Times change, and we are changed with them’, as the 16th century phrase has it. Public health has changed a lot in the last thirty years. Whole subdisciplines, for example health informatics, and genetic public health, have grown up in that time. Has the core practice of public health changed? Does it need to? Should it? 

If so, we need to lead and shape the changes. We need to identify futures for our discipline, and figure out how to get there. If we don’t, others will, and that is not necessarily for the benefit of our practice, our practitioners, or the public. If we are to be more than well trained technicians (which is not in itself a minor accomplishment) perhaps we need to articulate more forcibly who we are, why we are, and why we are relevant?

Climate change and public health – a dual role
COVID19 is a challenge for public health. Climate change is an existential threat for our civilisation, and possibly our species. Does public health have a part to play in meeting the challenges of climate change, and if so what? Is there a public health of information and lies? Should there be? How do we use the tools and methods of public health to explore futures?

General Information
Date: 10th to 12th November 2021


For more information and detailed program visit the website.

Published in GI-Mail 10/2021 (English and German edition).

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