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In this age of globalisation and the free market, robust political analysis of politics and health has become rare at the same time as publications on inequalities in health have exploded. Miquel Porta argues in this month's Speakers' Corner that publishing on public health topics has become a Russian Roulette. We go some way to redress this with an Editorial from Borrell and colleagues, in which they cite Navarro's recent book to explore a framework that relates politics and policies on socioeconomic health inequalities.
See pages 658 and 722
In Public Health Past and Present, Curtis tackles the natural history of hygiene (an unfashionable term, but one at the heart of the discipline and practice of public health). She argues that hygiene has an ancient evolutionary history, and that most animals exhibit such behaviours because they have been adaptive. In humans, the avoidance of infectious threats is motivated by the emotion of disgust. She goes on to argue the contribution of biological anthropology to our understanding – this prompts one to consider whether the revulsion against global politics is some form of evolutionary political hygiene?
See page 660
Also in this issue, our section on Continuing Professional Education carries a review of the effect of socioeconomic status on the relationship between atmospheric pollution and mortality, and concludes that most existing results tend to show greater effects among the more deprived. Our Glossary on violence is a spin‐off from the 2002 World Report on Violence and Health, and supports the important WHO initiative on that topic. Rutherford and colleagues argue that public health must engage with issues of violence, and that improved definitions and precise description will aid surveillance and enhance response.
See pages 665 and 676
The main findings in Evidence Based Policy and Practice are:
See pages 681, 684, 689, 695, 699, 704
And in Research Reports:
See pages 713, 719, 723, 731, 737
Finally, in this age of performance management, Nancy Hanusaik and a group from McGill University in Canada offer an approach to measuring the organisational capacity for chronic disease prevention. Good luck and good hunting!
See page 742