Modern states use surveillance to watch the bodies of citizens, monitoring them for illness, infection, and threats to public health. Public health surveillance is, however, a poorly understood service and its importance, intrusiveness, and rate of technological change are rarely matched by administrative resources or academic understanding. We know remarkably little about how surveillance works and how it should work.

This event will feature a lecture by Peter Donnelly, professor of public health medicine at St. Andrews University, followed by a round table discussion of the many unknowns in this important area. Who is responsible for public health surveillance in different European countries? What diseases concern them? How do they find and monitor diseases—that is, how deeply into their citizens’ lives can they look, and, above all, why do they do it that way? What configurations of technical expertise, politics, history, and culture shape the different ways European states track their peoples’ health?

Date: 03/26/2013
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location: 1636 International Institute/SSWB, 1080 S. University

Scott L. Greer is associate professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan and currently is a visiting fellow at the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. A political scientist, he is author or editor of eight books, including European Union Public Health Policies and Federalism and Decentralisation in European Health and Social Care.

Peter D. Donnelly is professor of public health medicine at the University of St. Andrews. He works on health systems: their organization, funding, governance, and accountability, including how they can be optimized to maximize patient benefit and reduce health inequalities. Donnelly serves on the international editorial board of Public Health and works extensively with the WHO on range of issues. From 2004–08 he was Deputy Chief Medical Officer to the Scottish Government.

Rachel Kahn Best is a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research and assistant professor of sociology at the University of Michigan. Her research asks how policies and laws respond to social problems. Across a wide range of issues, including diseases, homelessness, and employment discrimination, she has studied how advocacy and culture create inequalities in policy and law. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her work has appeared in the American Sociological Review, Social Problems, and the Law & Society Review.

Daniel M. Fox is president emeritus of the Milbank Memorial Fund, after serving as its president from 1990–2007. Before joining the Fund he served in state government in Massachusetts and New York, as an advisor to and staff member of three federal agencies, and as a faculty member and administrator at Harvard University and then at the Health Sciences Center of SUNY Stony Brook. A historian by training, he is author or editor of 14 books as well as numerous articles.

Peter D. Jacobson is professor of health law and policy in the Department of Health Management and Policy at University of Michigan School of Public Health and director of the Center for Law, Ethics, and Health. His current research interests focus on the relationship between law and health care delivery and policy, law and public health systems, and health care safety net services. He is the author of Strangers in the Night: Law and Medicine in the Managed Care Era and currently serves as associate editor for Health Law and Public Health for the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

Co-sponsors: International Institute, School of Public Health, Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia