MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health Annual Guest Lecture 2017

Start date: 
08 May, 2017
Event Speaker: 
Professor Frans Berkhout
Anatomy Lecture Theatre, K6.29
King's College London
Level 6, King's Building
King's College London Strand campus, Strand
United Kingdom
More Information: 

We are pleased to welcome Professor Frans Berkhout as the Speaker for our Annual MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health Guest Lecture 2017.

Welcome will be given by Professor Sir Robert Lechler, Vice-Principal for Health.

17:00 - 18:00 Lecture will be followed by a Drinks Reception to 18:45.

All are welcome to join us.


Planetary Health: making sense of the research and policy opportunities

The Rockefeller-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health (2015) launched an ambitious new framework for understanding the complex and global interactions between global health and well-being, and environmental change and risks. Planetary Health, defined as ‘…the health of human civilisation and the state of the natural systems on which it depends’ seeks to integrate health and environment research and policy at a fundamental level. Looking at the burden of disease worldwide, a substantial proportion of this is either directly or indirectly influenced by environmental risks. Achieving many global health goals depends on improvements in environmental quality and the sustainable management of environmental systems and services, while much of the justification for action on environmental change, including climate change and biodiversity protection, depends on health co-benefits. The challenge now is to make sense of the very broad agenda which the Planetary Health concept offers, and to make some choices about where the most significant research and policy opportunities appear to lie. The talk will set out the Planetary Health concept and discuss some key challenges for research and policy which emerge.


The Rockefeller Foundation– Lancet Commission on planetary health. Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch.

Sarah Whitmee, Andy Haines, Chris Beyrer, Frederick Boltz, Anthony G Capon, Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Alex Ezeh, Howard Frumkin, Peng Gong, Peter Head, Richard Horton, Georgina M Mace, Robert Marten, Samuel S Myers, Sania Nishtar, Steven A Osofsky, Subhrendu K Pattanayak, Montira J Pongsiri, Cristina Romanelli, Agnes Soucat, Jeanette Vega, Derek Yach.

Lancet 2015; 386: 1973–2028. DOI:




Frans Berkhout is Executive Dean of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy and Professor of Environment, Society and Climate in the Department of Geography at King’s College London. From 2013-2015 he was Director of the Future Earth programme, based at the International Council for Science (ICSU) in Paris. Before that, Prof Berkhout directed the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at the VU University Amsterdam in The Netherlands, and led the Amsterdam Global Change Institute. Among other advisory roles, Professor Berkhout was a lead author in two Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007 and 2014) and a member of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) of the UK Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). He is chair of UK Future Earth, a joint committee of four UK scientific academies. He sits on the editorial boards of Research Policy, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Current Opinion on Environmental Sustainability, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, Energy Research & Social Science and The Anthropocene Review.

His early research was concerned with the economic, political and security aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle and radioactive waste management. Over the last 20 years, his work has been concerned with science, technology, policy and sustainability, with a focus on climate change. His main academic contributions have been to the understanding of innovation in socio-technical systems and adaptation to climate change impacts by organisations.