Environmental Health: An Alliance to Bring Scientists and Decision-Makers Closer


Bring together scientific experts, civil society representatives and political decision-makers to make collective progress on the issues of health impacts of environmental changes: this is the objective of the Science Alliance on Environmental Health, an international alliance founded as part of the cooperation agreement signed between Inserm and the US National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). An initial working meeting will take place in Paris on December 17 and 18, 2018.

Faced with the growing urgency to address environmental issues, it is crucial to rapidly reinforce the links between scientists and political decision-makers. Despite the growing number of international scientific policies, dialogue between these two communities remains difficult. And this is particularly so in environmental health.

Discussions initiated in 2016 between NCSE and Inserm had revealed a mutual interest for stepping up dialogue, with the approach being central to the mission of the former and part of the 2016-2020 strategic plan of the latter. This shared proactiveness led to the two bodies signing a cooperation agreement in July 2017. The foundations of a Franco-US scientific experts/political decision-makers exchange network– iSCOPE – were laid in its wake.

To take matters a step further, NCSE, Inserm and Long Island University propose founding the Science Alliance on Environmental Health, a collaborative and participatory platform whose aim is to become an expert resource providing objective scientific information on environmental health issues to inform political decisions. An approach which fits into the context of international initiatives, including those of WHO on non-communicable diseases, the objectives of sustainable development, the Paris climate agreement and the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health.

Against this background, an initial working meeting devoted to urban environmental health issues will take place in Paris on December 17 and 18, 2018. It will bring together French and US experts invited to debate these issues and, more broadly, the role of this new Alliance and the actions envisaged within its framework.