The UC Berkeley School of Public Health is among the first schools of public health in the United States to emphasize the broad-based social and environmental determinants of health. It is widely recognized that the field of social epidemiology was pioneered at Berkeley under the leadership of Professor Leonard Syme.
Current Berkeley scholars are building on this legacy and producing the knowledge needed to reduce health inequalities that exist by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic status. They are also committed to moving their evidence-based public health research from publication to “public action” as quickly as possible.
Sir Michael Marmot PhD ’75, MPH ’72, is an internationally acclaimed epidemiologist who has conducted seminal research into the social determinants of health for more than four decades. As part of Berkeley Public Health’s 75th anniversary speaker series, he will provide evidence that, as we look across countries, national policies make a difference and much can be done in cities, towns, and local areas to address the health gap.
Taking action to reduce health inequalities is a matter of social justice. We need to confront the social gradient in health, not just the difference between the worst off and everybody else. Policies and interventions must not be confined to the health care system; they need to address the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, and age. Tackling the health gap will take action, based on sound evidence, across the whole of society.