On 24 May 2018, the All European Academies (ALLEA) and FEAM organised a symposium on health inequalities, under the leadership of a joint interdisciplinary Scientific Committee, and hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam. It was chaired by Professor George Griffin, President of FEAM, and Professor Johan Mackenbach, Fellow of KNAW and Chair of the ALLEA/FEAM interdisciplinary Scientific Committee.
Despite decades of research into health inequalities there is still no consensus on some of the basic issues. For example, different disciplines hold different views on the nature of the causal relationship between low socioeconomic status and health, and on the main mechanisms linking low socioeconomic status to ill health and premature death.
The objective of this symposium was to bring together key opinion leaders from various scientific backgrounds and kick-start a much-needed interdisciplinary discussion about these issues. It was the opportunity for members of the Scientific Committee to present a discussion paper reviewing the evidence and charting the main areas of scientific consensus and dissent.