How do you create thought leaders in public health?

What does Public Health mean to a country and its people?
Is it the same as what individuals’ place on their own health?

Health allows a person to exercise his faculties to the highest level. As a result, he can  be highly productive for his country.

Humanities and social science has a huge role to play in creating health both physical health and mental health.

In the department of “Public Health, Humanities and Ethics we aim to create “Thought leaders” in Humanities, Social Sciences   and Public health”.  We aim to sensitize students of Public Health about the importance of Ethics,  Humanities and Social Sciences. We also aim to sensitize students of Humanities and Social Sciences, in India, about the potential and importance to work on topics in Public Health

“We aim to integrate more public health into humanities and vice versa. We aim to integrate multiple disciplines. We want public health ethics integral to public health vision and planning.

Our work and objectives are aligned to “The National Education Policy 2020, Government of India” which emphasises the importance of doing multidisciplinary research in Social Sciences, Humanities and Health”

“The societal challenges that India needs to address today, such as access for all its citizens to clean drinking water and sanitation, quality education and healthcare, improved transportation, dignity, safety and comfort to the pedestrians and other active transporters, air quality, energy, and infrastructure, will require the implementation of approaches and solutions that are not only informed by top-notch science and technology but are also rooted in a deep understanding of the Social Sciences and Humanities and the various socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of the nation.”

“The growing emergence of epidemics and pandemics will also call for collaborative research in infectious disease management and development of vaccines and the resultant social issues heightens the need for multidisciplinary learning.”

“There will be a growing demand for humanities and art, as India moves towards becoming a developed country as well as among the three largest economies in the world. Assessments of educational approaches in  education that integrate the humanities and arts with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have consistently showed positive learning outcomes, including increased creativity and innovation, critical thinking”

“Research in Arts and Humanities, along with innovations in the Sciences and Social Sciences, are, therefore, extremely important for the progress and enlightened nature of a nation. Research is also improved and enhanced through a holistic and multidisciplinary education approach.”

“Multidisciplinary and a holistic education across the Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts, Humanities, and Sports for a multidisciplinary world in order to ensure the unity and integrity of all knowledge; “Facing and addressing these challenges will require high-quality interdisciplinary research across fields that must be done in India and cannot simply be imported; the ability to conduct one ’s own research also enables a country to much more easily import and adapt relevant research from abroad.” – National Education Policy 2020 (Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, 2020)

Thus, various Social Science, Humanities subjects need to be integrated with Public Health in India. This will enable answering multidimensional challenges. Although, its being done in many of the developed countries, we need India specific research.

We aim to make Public Health multi-disciplinary through setting up linkages and synergies between public health, humanities and ethics. There are huge gains from cross-disciplinary collaboration and asking the right research questions. 

Acknowledgment:  We gratefully acknowledge the Wellcome Trust for the “Small grant in Humanities and Public Health which has enabled us to set up this centre. Ref number (RA1136; 218192/Z/19/Z)