Denny Vågerö is professor emeritus of medical sociology at Stockholm University. His research has focused on how societal conditions affect population health, on health inequalities within and between countries, and, in more recent years, on epigenetics. Denny Vågerö co-founded and was the first director of CHESS (Centre for Health Equity Studies, in 2000-2008), which in 2018 formed the new Department of Public Health Sciences at Stockholm University (together with SoRAD). In 2001 he was elected to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He was a member of the WHO’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health (2005-2008), and is presently a senior advisor to WHO/Europe. Denny was a member of the Swedish Commission on Health Equity (2015-2017) and of the International Panel on Social Progress (2015-2018). In his talk ‘Health inequalities – the long view’ he will compare the discourse around health today with earlier discourses, 35 years ago when ESHMS was founded, and also 100-150 years ago at the time when the documentation of class and mortality became a notable movement in many European countries.

Read abstract “Health inequalities – the long view


Cláudia de Freitas is Associate Researcher at the Department of Health and Society of the Institute of Public Health and Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, Portugal. She lectures at the University of Seville, Spain, and is research collaborator at the Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology at University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), where she previously held two post-doctoral research grants. As a social scientist working at the intersection of Sociology and Public Health, Cláudia’s interests include public and patient involvement, data governance, digital sociology and migrant health. Her work’s main focus is on participation by traditionally under-served groups in health decision-making, including people dealing with mental illness, infertility and rare disease and ethnic minorities, and its implications for biomedical research, health care and policy. She currently leads a project on the risks and benefits of participatory health data governance. Cláudia serves as Review Editor for the Health Inequalities section of Frontiers in Public Health and has recently worked as a consultant for an Open Society Foundations project on Roma health governance. Her work has been awarded several prizes by ISCTE-IUL and the Norwegian Medical Association.

Read abstract “Public participation in health data governance: an imperative raising divide?

Piet Bracke (°1961) is a full professor at the department of sociology of Ghent University. He focuses on population (mental) health and health services use from a macro-sociological, institutional perspective. Mental health, stigma and mental health services use are a constant focus of attention; cancer screening participation is a more recent research topic. He, in collaboration with the members of his research team, published in the major health sociological journals, such as Social Science & Medicine, Journal of Health & Social Behavior and Sociology of Health & Illness. Piet Bracke is a former president of the ESHMS (2010-2014).

Read abstract “Population health and societal transformations an institutional approach“.

Kate Hunt is Professor in Behavioural Sciences and Health at the University of Stirling, and an Honorary Professor at the University of Glasgow and at Curtin University, Australia. She has a longstanding interest in inequalities in health. Her research interests have included: gender, health, health behaviours and help-seeking; commercial/media influences on health; designing and evaluating public health interventions; evaluation of policy change within the Scottish prison service; and experiences of health and illness. In recent years, much of her research has focused on culturally/gender-sensitised interventions delivered through professional sports clubs (such as the award-winning Football Fans in Training program) to attract and engage people in long-term positive behaviour change, and on the health of people living and working in prisons.

Kate has served on several UK funding boards, including MRC Population and Systems Medicine Board, NIHR Public Health Research funding board, and MRC Population Health Intervention Development Scheme, and was a Trustee for the Foundation for Medical Sociology. She is currently President of the UK Society for Social Medicine and Population Health.

Read abstract “Professional sport: public health ally or public health foe?