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Welcome to the Society for Social Medicine & Population Health

The Society for Social Medicine and Population Health is the study of health in its widest sense. It recognises the broad determinants of health – income and poverty, education, environmental factors such as housing and transport – as well as health care and genetic influences. The Society aims to promote the development of scientific knowledge in social medicine. This covers a range of subjects including epidemiology, the medical and health needs of society, the provision and organisation of health services and the prevention of disease.

The nature of social medicine requires a multi-disciplinary approach to the development of scientific knowledge. The disciplines involved include medicine, epidemiology, statistics, economics, social science and many others. Membership of the Society is open to anyone whose work is consistent with the Society’s objective.

To achieve its objective, the Society holds an annual scientific meeting, and one or two other scientific meetings each year which focus on particular themes. The formats of the meetings allow for presentations by researchers and leading experts in their fields, reports of new research findings, and opportunities for developing and maintaining networks and friendships. The Society also maintains a website, blog, distributes a newsletter and other relevant material to its members, and responds to consultation documents. The Society is affiliated to the European Public Health Association and is a member of the International Epidemiological Association’s European Epidemiology Federation.

The Society was founded in 1956.

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2020 Annual Scientific Meeting – a virtual conference

Dear Friends and Colleagues

I hope that you are all continuing to stay well and survive the additional pressures that many are under during the continuing Covid-19 outbreak and restrictions.

Following our update on the 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting last month, I am writing to confirm that at our most recent committee meeting we concluded that we really had no choice but to follow the path that many other organisations are taking in relation to conferences in the coming year.  We have therefore decided that it is too risky to continue to plan for an in-person event, but we are delighted to say that the September conference will proceed as a virtual conference.

We would like to thank Professor Carol Brayne and all of her colleagues in Cambridge again for all the work that they had put in to date on organising the conference. We are hoping that they may be able to add some ‘virtual’ experiences to the conference to still give the conference a distinct ‘Cambridge’ feel and to reflect the substantial amount of work that Carol and her colleagues had already committed.

We have rated all of the abstracts following our usual process and plan to publish the accepted peer-reviewed abstracts as usual (online rather than in hard copy this year).  If you submitted an abstract you should be hearing from us very soon!  We really hope that people will still be able to present their work virtually and that we can all utilise our new-found or well-honed skills in virtual participation in meetings and discussion.  More details to follow in due course on formats for the papers, posters and plenaries!  If there’s anyone out there with first-hand experience of organising a conference virtually who wants to share suggestions for good practice, what works well etc, do feel free to get in touch!

With all good wishes and take care,
Kate Hunt
SSM President

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  • I really enjoyed the early career researcher workshop, having the opportunity to meet other people at my stage of research and take the time to think about future plans and prospects was extremely valuable.
  • I really enjoyed the warm and welcoming atmosphere, which was created from the outset.
  • I would say that SSM presents a great opportunity for any ECR working in the area of public health and its associated topics such as epidemiology, statistics and policy, to engage with a wide audience.
  • A packed 3 days in Glasgow. I am leaving with the Celtic rhythm in my feet, Haggis in my belly and an inspirational assemblage of academic diversity in my mind from the Society of Social Medicine Conference 2018.
  • I appreciated the balance of keynote topic areas, particularly the review on child poverty and health inequality. I feel it is important to be reminded of the stark impact of health inequalities on vulnerable groups, and our responsibility as researchers to communicate findings, and work to ensure that such outcomes do not persist. Lastly, Cork is an incredible city, and to have the support of a free place with all accommodation arrangements so smoothly arranged was also very much appreciated (without which I would not have been able to attend).
    Gargie Ahmad PhD student, King's College London
  • I’ve really liked working with someone in my own field, but not my own institution. In my own institution we are paired with people outwith our department, which is quite a different experience.
  • I found it helpful to connect with another person, to feel useful and supportive, to have the great experience of helping someone to move forward
  • Very useful, a source of independent advice and a sounding board for my ideas. Really helped me secure promotion
  • I found it helpful to talk to someone outside my immediate network with similar experiences but from a different perspective
  • I found it helpful receiving information from someone who is impartial and has no vested interests in the kind of work I am doing