Groundbreaking research was showcased to an influential audience at the House of Lords

Researchers discuss health and wellbeing at Parliament

A team of researchers has hosted a briefing to Parliament, focusing on the complex links between the environment and health.

The team from the University of Exeter Medical School's European Centre for Environment & Human Health was joined by business leaders and influential politicians from both Houses of Parliament.

Hosted by Baroness Judith Jolly, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on Health and Social Care, the briefing reviewed the cutting edge research that is underway at the Centre and its implications for policy making.

The afternoon was chaired by two leading experts in the field, Professor Lora Fleming and Professor Michael Depledge. Items under discussion included the positive ways in which our environment can influence health and wellbeing, what measures are needed to safeguard and promote these benefits, and the important role of a trustworthy evidence base.

Held at the House of Lords, this event represents part of a larger effort to provide opportunities for policy makers, researchers, non-governmental organisations and business to discuss priority setting and the potential for future collaborations.

Baroness Judith Jolly, Liberal Democrat Peer, said: “This briefing has reviewed the cutting edge research at the European Centre for Environment and Human Health. It’s allowed us to raise awareness of the importance of research in the decision making process, and place the role of the environment firmly in the health care spot light.”

Director of the European Centre, Professor Lora Fleming said:“It’s immensely important that the links between the environment and health are not only recognised by policy makers, but reflected in the evolution of health care in the UK. This meeting is testament to the importance of the research that we’re doing in Cornwall, and builds on the region’s growing reputation in the health and wellbeing sector.”

Professor Michael Depledge, Chair of Environment and Health at the University of Exeter Medical School, and a Government Advisor on hazardous substances said: “The sharing of knowledge between researchers, politicians and practitioners is essential to ensure that policy decisions are based on sound scientific data. This meeting has provided us with an opportunity to explore new ways of enhancing interactions between academics, politicians and business leaders and to try to make a step change in the way we tackle urgent, critical environment and human health issues, ranging from climate change, pollution and food security to the current global epidemics of obesity and depression.”

Parliament image via Shutterstock

Date: 26 March 2013

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