The science of public health: Where’s the evidence?

Of all the policy areas that invoke scientific evidence as their foundation, public health appears to have the strongest claim. Whether it’s ‘plain packs’ for cigarettes or enlisting transport policy to get us more physically active, lifestyle interventions have the studies and the stats to support them, prompting headlines like ‘Minimum alcohol pricing would save 860 lives a year, study finds’. This lively discussion with public health sceptics and an insightful audience helps us understand why the scientific credibility and political motivations of ‘healthy living’ mandarins and entrepreneurs is unconvincing. Filmed at the Battle of Ideas Festival.

Battle of Ideas session details