There’s more to wellbeing than the absence of injury or illness, and prevention is often more effective than a cure. Could these lessons about healthcare also apply to public policy? On this week’s podcast, hosts Martyn Pearce and Sue Regan chat with a man who has spent his career at the highest levels of public policy and public health. In a wide-ranging interview, Sir Harry Burns, Scotland’s former Chief Medical Officer, discusses wellbeing, poverty, Brexit, refugees, machine learning, and the shortfalls of economic growth.

Sir Harry Burns trained as a surgeon in Glasgow. He completed a Masters Degree in Public Health in 1990, became Director of Public Health for Greater Glasgow Health Board in 1994, and was Chief Medical Officer for Scotland from 2005 to 2014. He was knighted in 2011, and became Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University in 2014.

Show notes: The following were referred to in this episode:

Podcast: Global policy at the coalface with Ian Chambers, Holly Halford-Smith, Zoe Malone, and Max Etherington

China’s Big Brother smart cities by Fan Yang

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesStitcher, and wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or find us on Facebook.

Back to Podcasts

Press Ctrl+C to copy