Conference Report: Symposium on Global Health & the Social Sciences

June 2018 (46 pages)
ISBN: 978-1-936727-15-5
Download PDF version

On November 9 and 10, 2017 nearly 30 leading political scientists, anthropologists, and sociologists gathered for a two-day “Symposium on Global Health and the Social Sciences” sponsored by Boston University’s Fredrick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future.

The symposium aimed to understand the contributions of three social science disciplines (anthropology, political science, and sociology) to global health; discuss what opportunities exist for further research by the disciplines; and deliberate about what more could be done to galvanize greater interest in research on global health among the disciplines. Symposium participants considered these issues 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.

The conference report was compiled by Jonathan D. Shaffer and was edited by Joseph Harris and Cynthia Barakatt.