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Environnement, Risques & Santé

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Developing citizen participation for better integration of science to public action: the case of environmental health research and prevention Volume 20, issue 5, September-October 2021

Author
Professeur de l’EHESP retraité
Membre de la Société francophone de santé environnement (SFSE)
Université Paris Diderot
Bâtiment Buffon - Case courrier 7073
4, rue M.A. Lagroua Weill Hallé
75205 Paris cedex 13
France
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How can science be better integrated into public health action? How can environmental health research better serve prevention, the domain of its health and social applications? Both have the same requirement of transversality and intersectorality. This article defends the value of citizen empowerment in both research (participatory research and research-action) and public prevention actions (health protection and health promotion) to facilitate this integration. In these two areas, the practice of co-construction with experts makes use of the citizen's common knowledge as a patient – inhabitant – user – consumer and its possible hybridization with academic knowledge. We present an overview of existing achievements in France in both fields and deliver a message of hope about progress towards the WHO's “Health for All” goal, formulated in 1979.