Letters

New public health Research is part of the political process

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6943.1568a (Published 11 June 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1568
  1. N Bruce,
  2. P Flynn,
  3. J Hotchkiss,
  4. J Springett,
  5. A S Samuel

    EDITOR, - Jan P Vandenbroucke, in commenting on the new public health. acknowledges the perennial relevance of equity, ecology, and the environment but advises that the energy behind the rhetoric be directed in “good ways” to avoid “academic downfall.”1 His point is well made, but he says nothing of the opportunities and progress that are being made. We recently addressed these issues at a conference in Liverpool (Health in cities: research and change in urban community health) drawing on experience of the WHO Healthy Cities Project2 and Health for All initiatives to address two key questions:

    (1) what research methods are appropriate for assessing needs and evaluating the Health for All process and outcomes, and

    (2) how can the research findings be translated into policy, and what are the barriers?

    The conference heard that, if research is to be made more relevant to policy makers, there needs to be greater recognition that research is part of the political process, more integration of qualitative and quantitative research, and selection of research topics more in line with current priorities. The research community also needs to be aware of how policy makers view research; often it is seen as fine in principle, but …

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