Cambridge University

Welcome to Cambridge Public Health

Covid-19 has exposed a series of issues in the worlds of science, medicine and societies. Between generating scientific evidence to justify public health policies, and communicating these justifications, our health and social care worlds have fallen short. Many countries lack a united front for mitigating the damage caused by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, and misinformation compounds the challenges to efficacy of population-level communication and recommendations.

In a recent essay, The Atlantic’s Ed Yong argued that this pandemic shows, definitively, that, from here on, we will need the input of thinkers from all kinds of different backgrounds to combat our present challenges — and the challenges of the future. We need to maintain open dialogue among physicians, anthropologists, epidemiologists, public health specialists, engineers and ethicists, among so many others, to combat the numerous healthcare issues — including but not limited to Covid-19 — that affect our health today.

This is, however, easier in theory than in practice: ultimately, researchers come from specific and specialised backgrounds, and even when the desire to communicate exists, the ability to do so — even on a semantic level — can be difficult. At Cambridge Public Health, our aim is to tackle these challenges head on, and to attempt, as much as is possible, to forge bridges between disparate fields, combining our knowledge and skillsets to reduce health inequalities, improve sustainability and drive not just scientific discovery, but multidisciplinary discourse in the world of public health.

Our leader members include world-renowned researchers from a variety of backgrounds, all of whom have joined with enthusiasm to contribute to this collective effort. And while each of us recognises that we will need to overcome differences in theory and methodology, our joint aims — to improve the public health of all societies — have a much greater chance of success if we work together.

Our logo, a symbol illustrating the interwoven nature of our work with its warp and weft, showcases the strengths and goals Cambridge Public Health represents. Each strand signifies an element of our work, interlinking with the others, and matches in colour a relevant United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. For each of these areas of research, we aim to maximise our impact and the impact of our collaborators, and to strengthen our relationships with our colleagues across the world.

Cambridge Public Health is open to all. Whether you are an internationally recognised professor, an early career researcher, a student, someone working in public health practice or health and social care with a focus on population health and well-being, research, training or impact, we think you will find people and areas of interest here.

Our philosophy is one of openness and transparency, and comes from the all too bitter knowledge — exemplified by the shortcomings in the international response to Covid-19 — that we can improve public health only if we work together. We hope you will join us in our attempts to do so.

Professor Carol Brayne and Professor John Clarkson

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