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Themes of the 14th EPH Conference


Welcome to Dublin 2021, if possible… 

Writing in the midst of the corona crisis, we have no idea if we will meet in Dublin next year. Many of us have had our lives and work turned upside down by COVID-19, and the past months have been hard for many of us. It may be that we will all gather in Dublin as planned but equally, we may be scattered across the planet, looking at flickering screens, and standing up from time to time to stretch our body. In any event, you are welcome to the 14th EPH Conference, from wherever you are watching it.

Over the next decade we will all make choices which will determine the future of our advanced technological civilisation. The COVID-19 pandemic, through which the world is living currently, is as graphic an example as could be desired of the instability of our model of life, and the need for action on One Health. In Europe, we have paid a terrible price for our belief that we were safe from infection, that we could dismantle our public health systems, and get away with it.

We have now run out of road on climate emergency. 2019 was the warmest year on record, and 2020 and 2021 are likely to beat that record. The global climate is changing rapidly. Building a future, any kind of future, for us and for our children, demands a new attention to sustainability.

It’s tempting to despair, to give up. Let’s not. This conference hopes to open up part of this discussion, with a focus on health, and health care. We will look specifically at gender and health, at health care delivery generally, the use of digital tools, and the necessary staffing and skills to provide good care. We will, in line with the overall conference theme, look in depth at the climate emergency, and very specifically at the human food supply.

We look forward to seeing you all in Dublin, be that virtually or in person. Dublin is well known as a literary city, but our long history of public health in Ireland is less well known. These intersect strikingly in one man - William Wilde, society doctor, hospital founder, apprentice to Abraham Colles, husband to Jane Elgee, better known as ‘Speranza’, the poet of revolution, father to Oscar Wilde, who needs no introduction. Sir William, as he became, wrote extensively on eye surgery, Irish antiquities, Irish folklore, and on the health of the Irish population.

You may yet have a chance to discover his city, in all its brightness and darkness, as well as learning something more about making our futures.

The main theme of Dublin 2021 is: 

Our Food, Our Health, Our Earth: A Sustainable Future for Humanity 

Subthemes are:

  • Gender health at the margins or the centre?
  • Digital Health
  • Workforce and Skills
  • Climate Emergency
  • Food policy, global health and the Sustainable Development Goals