Sussex Conversation on environment and health
The second of the series of six Sussex Conversations, which form an important part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, took place yesterday (Thursday 3 November) at the Royal Institution in London.
Rt Hon Ben Bradshaw MP, a former Minister of State for Health, chaired the conversation, about ‘Making healthy environments’.
Speakers included Professor Richard Wilkinson, who specialises in the social determinants of health and the effects of income inequality on society as a whole. He considered the question, What is health?.
Professor Helen Smith, who responded to Professor Wilkinson, is based at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), where her research focuses on the evaluation in the community of new ways to improve patients’ health (e.g. new technologies and novel treatments).
Lord (Robert) May, previously the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, addressed the question, ‘What is a healthy environment?’
Responding to him on this was Michael Ramsey, Professor of Environmental Science at Sussex.
And finally, Sir Jonathon Porritt, former director of Friends of the Earth and former chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, considered the question: ‘Does a healthy environment for humans differ from a healthy environment for other animals and plants?’
The respondent from Sussex on this question was Professor Francis Ratnieks, the UK’s only Professor of Apiculture and head of the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI).