Philanthropy that brings together public health partners
In order to continue providing world-class education and to conduct world-class research with the potential for global impact, Cambridge needs to attract outstanding academic staff. Here are two examples of how philanthropy is central to all that we have yet to achieve in the field of public health.
Philanthropy is defined as the desire to improve the welfare of others and translates literally from Greek as ‘a love of humankind’. It can also be described as benevolence, generosity, humanitarianism, public-spiritedness, altruism, social conscience or magnanimity.
Leading the future of public health
While it is all of those things, it is more than that. The Dennis and Mireille Gillings Global Public Health Fellowships demonstrate philanthropy as a powerful tool for partnership and the bringing together of diverse people and institutions in pursuit of a common goal.
The Gillings Fellowships are a collaboration between the University of Cambridge, the Institut Pasteur (a private, non-profit foundation that helps prevent and treat diseases through research and teaching), and the Gillings themselves. The aim is to produce future public health leaders who are not just gifted biomedical researchers, but are equipped with financial acumen and business skills.
Over the course of two three-year post-doctoral fellowships, one each in infectious disease and neurology, gifted medics at a formative stage in the careers will split their time between the Institute for Public Health and the Judge Business School in Cambridge, the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and live research projects in Africa and the People's Republic of China.
While the Cambridge Institute for Public Health has been producing scientific leaders in public health for decades, the Mireille and Dennis Gillings Global Public Health Fellowships present an exciting opportunity to bring scientific, public sector and business leadership skills together for the training of future global public health leaders.
To be effective in addressing global health challenges, future leaders must be equally comfortable in the public and private sectors, with a political and commercial astuteness that will enable collaborative working across many sectors.
The philosophy of public health
Thanks to support from the Hatton Trust a new lectureship is making a permanent contribution to vital research in life sciences.
The endowed Hatton Lectureship in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences contributes to an expanded programme of joint teaching, research and engagement in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. From the relationship between biological and socio-cultural aspects of public health to issues around causation and causal inference in biological systems, it adds to Cambridge’s contribution to integrative, historical and philosophical research across the life sciences and shows how the philosophy of biology and medicine can contribute to grounded and effective policy-making in the biological and biomedical sciences.