Public Health Experts, Policymakers Convene To Discuss Global Burden Of Disease Study

“More than 500 public health experts, policymakers and academics from 50 different countries have gathered in Seattle this week to dig deeper into what one of the leaders in the field characterized as having done for global health what the Human Genome Project has done for biomedical science and medicine” — the new Global Burden of Disease Study, “a massive worldwide assessment of what’s killing, injuring and disabling people around the planet,” development blogger Tom Paulson reports in the Humanosphere blog. “It’s the global health community equivalent of sequencing all human DNA, [Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, said on the opening day of the conference], and a sign that this field has entered its ‘Big Data’ stage,” Paulson writes. “But data alone is not enough, Frenk said, adding that what’s needed is to use this data to create a truly global and ‘pluralistic’ community aimed at improving health,” he states (6/17).