What do the health and environment sectors in the UK have to learn from one another?

22 February 2016, 4pm


The Centre for Science and Policy in partnership with Friends of the Earth, the Nesta Health Lab, and Cambridge Institute of Public Health, are convening this Policy Workshop to bring together a diverse range of research perspectives for a roundtable discussion with the aim of exploring possible collaboration at the intersection of health and the environment.

The event will be chaired by Dame Fiona Reynolds, with confirmed contributors to the discussion including Craig Bennett (Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth), Jane Elliott (Chief Executive, Economic and Social Research Council) and Halima Khan (Executive Director, Nesta Health Lab).


After decades of work to characterise health and environmental problems there is no lack of recommendations for action. In both sectors however there are still challenges when dealing with issues that cut across institutional responsibilities, and which require new ways of engaging citizens to promoting human and environmental wellbeing.

This workshop will compare approaches from environmental and health sectors to promoting behavioural and systemic change. In particular, the workshop will address the following questions:

  • What can the health and environmental sectors in the UK learn from one another?
  • What do we know about effective social movements, campaigning, and public engagement?
  • Can behavioural science be used to promote pro-health and pro-environmental behaviour change?
  • What is the experience of citizen science projects and how can this be applied to improving health and the environment?
  • What are the opportunities to collaborate and experiment at the intersection of health and environment in the UK?

The workshop will include discussion of diet and recent attempt to change diets in the UK, and also the case of air pollution and asthma, in particular the potential to use low-cost digital devices to track air pollution and asthma symptoms in ways that generate robust health and environmental data. The aim would be to help people self-manage their health better, better understand the links between health and environmental factors and make the case for less polluting transport options.

You can read the report of this workshop here.

Policy Workshops
Our policy workshops help researchers at Cambridge consider and realise the potential policy impacts of their work and provide decision makers in government with an opportunity to test and shape their thinking on a range of policy issues.
Dame Fiona Reynolds

National Audit Office

  • In news articles

    Harnessing the potential of social movements, and generating impact at scale

    A Policy Workshop held in collaboratioin with Friends of the Earth, the Nesta Health Lab and the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, brought together a wide range of Policy Fellows from the health and environment sectors to discuss the role of social movements, innovation, and impact at scale.