New Conference Report: Symposium on Global Health & the Social Sciences

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future is pleased to announce the publication of a new conference report stemming from its Symposium on Global Health and the Social Sciences, a two-day gathering of nearly 30 leading political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists on November 9 and 10, 2017.

The symposium, which was convened by Prof. Joseph Harris as part of his work as a Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow, centered on a simple premise: Why isn’t there a greater focus on global health within the core social science disciplines? What new opportunities does the study of global health offer the social sciences? What might the disciplines gain from greater engagement with the problems of global health, and what might they offer the problems of global health? And how can the rigor of the social sciences be brought to bear on the problems of global health?

The participants aimed to answer these questions in the context of three core social science disciplines (anthropology, political science, and sociology) in light of five themes: global health governance, reproductive health and human rights, universalism, infectious disease response, and access to pharmaceuticals.

This conference report provides a summary of the discussions that occurred at this seminal gathering and is intended to stimulate discussion among the broader social sciences community about the role we can play in global health research going forward. The report is intended to spur more meaningful conversations about global health research among the fields of anthropology, political science, and sociology more broadly, and move this domain of social inquiry in the direction of greater coherence, shared knowledge, and community.

Click here to download the PDF of the report. Hard copies are free and can be requested by sending an email to