Yesterday I was in Northampton to present at the Greener Northants LNP annual conference. I discussed our research, and that of others such as CRESH, and tried to argue that the environment (alongside many other features of our societies and communities) should be recognised (and valued) for it’s role in promoting, supporting or damaging our health.
You can download my slides from here Northamptonshire_Lovell_0915x
I appreciate these opportunities to meet with practitioners and policy makers, not only to hear about the enormous range of inter-sectoral policies, programmes and delivery but also to think more about how to frame our arguments. Feedback from another event I spoke at (I was asked to talk specifically about causality and think I may have focused too much on what we don’t know rather than on what we do) has made me think about how to find the balance between caution about the strength, limitations and nuance of the evidence base while trying to emphasise that the weight of evidence does suggest that environments are fundamentally important for health.
This a real concern and one we are having to address with Defra in relation to an evidence summary we are developing specifically for policy makers. After all, an absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.