Science for Action

SESPAS presents its Congress of conferences

AES (the Spanish Health Economics Association) and SEE (the Spanish Epidemiological Society), two of the founding scientific societies of SESPAS (the Spanish Society for Public Health and Administration), and those with the biggest number of members, have decided to coordinate their respective annual scientific meetings in order to be attractive to all SESPAS members by dealing with issues with cross-cutting interest. The scientific programme on days 6 and 8 will include issues of great current relevance, such as the determinants of population health. Themes such as global warming, social inequality in health, education – which is key to social mobility – and big data will be addressed during events coordinated by the two societies in order to enable better analyses of the problems and projection of the consequences of possible actions. In addition to the keynote lectures on these topics, there will be talks and presentations that will allow the distinct perspectives in SESPAS to be explored.

The aim is to contribute to the goals of SESPAS, continuing existing association between European and global public health networks, through a Congress of conferences in order to raise the international profile of SESPAS, strengthen the role of SESPAS within national decision-making institutions, and test a novel form of joint conference that can accommodate the diverse needs of the distinct SESPAS societies.

Science, action and awareness

The overall theme of the conference – Science for Action - is inspired by the idea that by offering rigorous analysis and scientific method, we can counter the growing ability of special interest groups to define and dominate the political agenda. We want to give a voice to civil society through our technical knowledge, provide a scientific approach to decisions in public health and promote consensual opinions based on scientific rigour in form and in content. There is nothing more personal, intimate and individual than health, but the health of the population also matters to society. It is important to know how to get more health value for the money we spend on health, both in society at large and in the public system. The Congress aims to contribute to these major issues through an unbiased, multidisciplinary and cross-cutting approach, which advocates health without forgetting other major societal goals; all this by combining science, action and awareness.


Health problems among populations are complex, with multiple causes and effects that require multidisciplinary work: epidemiology, economics, health management, legal science and environmental health, among others. All of these diverse areas of research will come together in this Congress to analyse public health problems and their solutions and benefit from debate and criticism by experts from traditionally separate fields.

The topics of the meeting will cover the usual areas, in addition to the aforementioned areas of global warming, inequality and big data: major risk factors; the most important causes of morbidity and mortality; environment; nutrition; lifestyles; prevention and promotion; control of communicable diseases; chronicity and dependence; access, use and variations; evaluation of public policies, health policies and health services; investigation methodology; innovation, organisation and management; government and institutions; quality and appropriateness of healthcare; effectiveness: treatment, prevention, diagnosis, adverse effects; vulnerable populations; specialist subjects, etc. Bearing in mind all these topics, we want to highlight both the complementary nature of the different perspectives and their applicability.

This is a good opportunity for members of SESPAS [Spanish Association of Public Health and Health Care Administration] thematic societies which this time round are not holding their own conference – Health Jurists Association, Spanish Society of Environmental Health, Spanish Primary Care Network, Spanish Society of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Community Nursing Association – to provide their disciplinary perspectives on the above topics. The executive committee (consisting of SESPAS, the Spanish Association of Epidemiology [SEE] and the Health Economics Association [AES]) will provide for organising the contributions of the above societies as well as those of the members of the five regional societies.

Satellite sessions may also be organised at the conference venue. These sessions can have any format and do not go through any scientific committee. Options range from presenting a book or paper to workshops, discussion sessions, etc. and a wide variety of formats. The cost of the satellite sessions will be met by their organisers (federated or other societies). To encourage participation, SESPAS will pay for renting the venue (Pompeu Fabra University charges for it) for the satellite sessions organised by its societies if the board considers that the session is of general interest. All participants must be registered for the conference. It would be advisable to hold all the satellite sessions on the 5th to enable attendance at the conference and avoid excessive proliferation of parallel events. The deadline for submitting proposals for the satellite sessions is 30 April 2017.

The health system is tightly interwoven with politics; health challenges are not resolved in the short term and, unlike political changes, health objectives should incorporate the long-term goals but with a constant fine tuning based on the acquisition of new knowledge. All this, while being attentive to the culture of public policy evaluation, prioritisation and institutional design in order to achieve something that is socially desirable as well as individually attractive.

Three entryways

There is an Executive Committee formed by Vicente Ortún (former Chairman of SESPAS), Pilar García-Gómez (former Chair of AES), Esteve Fernández (former Chair of SEE), Silvia de Sanjosé (Chair of the 35th SEE Scientific Committee), Cristina Hernandez Executive Committee Quevedo (Chair of the 37th AES Scientific Committee), María Sala (SEE) and Toni Mora (AES). The Executive Committee is responsible for the organisation and integrity of the whole event as well as the scientific part of the exclusive SESPAS sessions to be held on the mornings of days 6 and 8. They are also responsible for ensuring peer review of papers for SESPAS sessions. Day 5 will be devoted to congress activities. The afternoons of days 6 and 7 will deal with the SEE Scientific Meeting and AES Conference, with a sufficient choice of topics to attract the participation of any member of SESPAS.

The deadlines and prices for the Congress are the same for members of all the societies. Social events will be coordinated and we will be able to take advantage of economies of scale. There will still be three separate websites for registration for the Congress: AES, SEE and SESPAS, which, among other things, will allow us to keep track of the number of attendees coming from each society and distribute income and expenses accordingly. All attendees will have the same access to the scientific sessions and social events, regardless of which society they belong to.

We invite everyone to attend the meeting and we encourage you to actively participate with your contributions to make this first joint SESPAS Congress a success. The Committee will make every effort to ensure you have a pleasant stay in Barcelona, at the Ciutadella campus of Pompeu Fabra University.

Vicente Ortún
Pilar García-Gómez
Esteve Fernández
Silvia de Sanjosé (Chairwoman of the SEE Scientific Committee)
Cristina Hernández-Quevedo (Chairwoman of the AES Scientific Committee)
María Sala
Toni Mora

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