Health Inequalities Research

New Methods, Better Insights?


2021 | 160 pages | ISBN 978-3-9823967-0-5 | free

Key values for modern societies include safeguarded levels of physical and mental health, high life expectancy and equal access to healthcare. Although inequalities in health between individuals are unavoidable, countries are also faced with substantial and systematic differences in health between groups (‘health inequalities’).

Ample scientific evidence suggests that such inequalities are largely dependent on how well off an individual is as regards his or her socio-economic position, level of education or physical environment. However, scientists from different disciplines disagree on how exactly these social gradients are causally linked to health and, consequently, on how best to mitigate the vulnerability of certain societal groups.


In a bid to align these varying perspectives, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), together with the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) and the Federation of European Academies of Sciences (FEAM), has initiated a multi-disciplinary project aimed at reviewing existing research findings and striking a balance between the outcomes of different disciplines.

ALLEA and FEAM have set up a Scientific Committee of experts on health inequalities to oversee the work carried out within the project. Covering academic backgrounds such as public health, epidemiology, genetics, economics and social sciences, the Committee provides guidance with a view to facilitating a tailored interdisciplinary debate.