Eivind Engebretsen

Professor of Interdisciplinary Health Science

The science-policy relationship in times of crisis

In a new paper entitled ‘The science-policy relationship in times of crisis: An urgent call for a pragmatist turn’ co-authored with Trisha Greenhalgh and published in Social Science and Medicine, we propose that to better prepare for the next public health crisis, five pragmatism-informed shifts are needed in the science-policy relationship:


1. from scientism to science-informed narrative rationality that emerges from practice;
2. from knowledge-then-action to acting judiciously under uncertainty;
3. from hierarchies of evidence to pluralist inquiry;
4. from polarized camps to frame-reflective dialogue; 5. from an “inside-track” science-policy dialogue to greater participatory democracy.

Read the full paper here.

Video Summary of Rethinking Evidence in the Time of Pandemics

Our book, Rethinking Evidence in the Time of Pandmics,  provides a framework for how health officials can develop more effective interventions during public health crises. The policies should engage with the narratives people believe and their reasons for doing so.   Watch a video summary of our book below and

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Eivind Engebretsen

Teaching sustainable health care through the critical medical humanities

Many medical schools have started to include the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their curricula. Doctors graduate knowing they shouldn’t prescribe inhalers containing greenhouse gas propellants. But they are ignorant of wider aspects of sustainability, including partnership-building, decolonization, and just transformation. The standard approach to teaching the SDGs

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