Conference Program

Policies, Places, and Profits: Manufacturers of Illness and Health

Join us September 30 – October 2, 2020!

Population health is shaped by the contexts in which people live. We are all embedded in geographic, policy, social, and economic contexts that shape our opportunities for creating a healthy life. These contexts have been rapidly changing and diverging in recent decades. Geographic inequalities in health in the United States and globally have widened; policy environments across U.S. states and across countries have polarized; and the roles of profit-seeking companies on population health has come into negative focus with rising obesity, the opioid crisis and climate change, and positive focus as reflected in the U.S. Surgeon General’s initiative “Community Health and Economic Prosperity.” How do these various policy, place, and profit-seeking contexts shape population health? How have they contributed to exacerbating or mitigating the troubling trends and growing inequalities in health across the U.S. and world populations? How can researchers from different disciplines ranging from the biological sciences to the social sciences work with policymakers and the private sector to make real improvements in these structural and commercial determinants of health?      

The theme of the 2020 IAPHS conference is “Policies, Places, and Profits: Manufacturers of Illness and Health.” The theme recognizes the influential work of John B. McKinlay, who coined the phrase “manufacturers of illness” to emphasize the key role of upstream factors, particularly political-economic systems, in shaping population health. IAPHS has made McKinlay’s path-breaking article available for members (click here).

The overall goal of this year’s IAPHS conference is to bring together scholars from multiple disciplines to share current research findings, frameworks, and methods; elevate awareness about how policies, places, and profits shape population health for better or for worse; facilitate new collaborations; and identify ways to improve health through outreach to policymakers, industry and the public. The conference will continue the IAPHS tradition of offering a scientifically engaging and interactive program, welcoming anyone interested in population health.

The Program Committee encourages submissions that highlight the promise of interdisciplinary population health science and action that can improve population health across the life course. Submissions from postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, clinical students, and trainees are especially encouraged.