Vortrag: New directions in population health sciences: from risks to consequences

This lecture is the first in a new lecture series in public health, which brings leading experts to Berlin to talk about contemporary issues in public and population health science and practice. The series is organized by the Charité Institute of Public Health (IPH).

The first speaker of the series will be Professor Sandro Galea from the Boston University School of Public Health who will share his thoughts on the topic "New directions in population health sciences: from risks to consequences"

A fundamental charge of epidemiology is to improve population health through the identification of and intervention on those ‘risks’ for disease that generate the greatest harm. Yet population health science as a discipline today faces substantial challenges to its relevance, suggesting that we need to take a hard look at how our discipline approaches inquiry. The dominant guiding paradigm informing the quantitative population health science approach has been the risk factor approach, and the experiment as the gold standard for estimating causal effects of individual exposures. Prof. Galea advocates for a shift in focus to one driven by the consequence of our measures and actions. He encourages discussion of the core values of a population health science, and articulates how reframing the research questions that we ask and the manner through which we answer them may inform the next generation of consequential population health science.

About the speaker

Sandro Galea is the Robert A. Knox Professor and Dean at the Boston University School of Public Health. Professor Galea is primarily interested in the social production of health of urban populations, with a focus on the causes of brain disorders and substance abuse. Moreover, he focuses on developing innovative teaching modules and moving population health sciences from risk factor evaluations to consequences. He has published over 600 scientific journal articles, has been named one of TIME magazine’s epidemiology innovators, and has been listed by Thomson Reuters as one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for the Social Sciences. Further information