Association or causation in miasmas and mixtures: Current reflections on Bradford Hill's 1965 contribution to Public Health


Thursday 13 October 2016
to Friday 14 October 2016

2 day

Venue Royal Society of Medicine
1 Wimpole Street
Organised by

Epidemiology & Public Health Section , Brunel University London


CPD - Applied for

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about this event

To mark this 50th anniversary, the Royal Society of Medicine, is hosting a two day workshop on 13-14 October 2016,  to be held at the same venue of the Bradford Hill lecture in 1965. A strong line-up of renowned international speakers will discuss these issues with participants that include EU and national level risk assessment committees, policymakers, academics, and key stakeholder groups. Speakers include Abee Boyles, Elisabeth Cardis, Carl Cranor, David Gee, Philippe Grandjean, Lennart Hardell, Andreas Kortenkamp, Raymond Neutra, Richard Peto, Geof Rayner, Kenneth Rothman, Christina Ruden, Kurt Straif, Jan Vandenbroucke, Paolo Vineis and Tracey Woodruff.

The meeting is organised by the Epidemiology & Public Health Section of RSM in partnership with Brunel University London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London. The workshop aims to address the critical issues for public and environmental health raised in the Bradford Hill lecture and subsequent landmark paper and in light of today’s knowledge about multi-causality and complexity, to critically re-assess his approach and the use, misuse and current utility of his "viewpoints" in avoiding or minimising harm to public health and environments.



This meetings lectures were recorded for you to view in your own time.  To view these lectures please click here.




Day one

8.30 am

Registration, tea and coffee

Session one: The current utility of Bradford Hill’s 1965 paper on "Association or causation"

Chair: Professor John R Ashton CBE, President, Epidemiology & Public Health Section, RSM

9.15 am

Welcome and objectives of the Bradford Hill workshop

Professor John Ashton CBE, and Professor Susan Jobling, Director of Institute of Environment, Health and Societies, Brunel University London

9.30 am

Bradford Hill and his viewpoints for causal inference, 50 years later

Kenneth J Rothman, Professor, Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Medicine, Boston University Hospital and Distinguished Fellow and Vice President for Epidemiology Research at RTI Health Solutions

10.15 am

Causality and causal inference in epidemiology

Jan P Vandenbroucke, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, Leiden University

10.45 am

Influence of Bradford Hill in IARC’s cancer evaluations

Kurt Straif, Senior Scientist, International Agency on Research in Cancer

11.15 am

Coffee and tea break

11.45 am

Utility of Bradford Hill 1965 for "weak" carcinogens

Paolo Vineis, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Imperial College, London

12.15 pm


Neil Pearce, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

1.00 pm


Session two: Use and misuse of the Bradford Hill approach in three current controversies

Chairs: Mark Miller, Chief of Staff, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA and Juliette Legler, Professor of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Brunel University, London

2.15 pm

The causes of cancer, 1965-2015

Sir Richard Peto, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, Oxford University

3.00 pm

Response and discussion

Tony Fletcher, Associate Professor, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

3.30 pm

Use and misuse of the Bradford Hill viewpoints in evaluating the evidence on endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs)

Andreas Kortenkamp, Professor in Human Toxicology, Brunel University, London

4.00 pm


Juliette Legler, Brunel University London

4.15 pm

Tea and coffee break

4.30 pm

Using the Bradford Hill viewpoints to evaluate the evidence on RF radiations from mobile phones and head tumours

Lennart Hardell, Oncologist and Professor, Örebro University Hospital, Sweden

5.00 pm


Elisabeth Cardis, Research Professor in Radiation Epidemiology, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, Barcelona

5.15 pm

Discussion and conclusions of day one

Philippe Grandjean, Adjunct Professor of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal Environmental Health

5.55 pm

Completion of evaluation forms and close of day one

Day two

8.30 am

Registration, tea and coffee

Session three: The use of Bradford Hill 1965 in evaluating evidence via systematic reviews

Olwenn Martin, Brunel University London and Stephen Holgate, Southampton University

9.00 am

Bradford Hill and systematic reviews of reproductive and developmental hazards: The navigation guide

Tracey Woodruff, Director, Reproductive Health and the Environment; Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Sciences, University of California, San Francisco

9.30 am

Use of the Bradford Hill approach in Office of Health Assessment and Translation (OHAT) systematic reviews

Abee Boyles, Health Scientist in the National Toxicology Programme at National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, USA

10.00 am

Bradford Hill and evaluating evidence for action on endocrine disrupting chemicals: SYRINA

Christina Ruden, Professor in Regulatory Ecotoxicology and Toxicology at the Department of Applied Environmental Science, Stockholm University

10.30 am


Paul Whaley

11.00 am

Tea and coffee break

Session four: Evidence and ethics for action?

Chairs: Giovanni Leonardi, Public Health England and RSM and Ariana Zeka, Brunel University London

11.30 am

The use and abuse of Bradford Hill 1965 in US law

Carl Cranor, Professor of Philosophy and faculty member of the Environmental Toxicology Programme, University of California, Riverside

12.00 pm

Ethics and biases in evaluating evidence

Raymond Neutra, Retired Chief, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health

12.30 pm

The "case for action" 1965 - 2015

David Gee, Visiting Fellow, Brunel University London

12.45 pm


Rupert Read, Department of Philosophy, School of Philosophy, Politics and Languages, University of East Anglia

1.15 pm


Session five: Bradford Hill and public health today

2.15 pm

Bradford Hill and causality: His relevance today

Neil Pearce, Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

2.45 pm

Bradford Hill and ecological public health

Geof Rayner, Co-author, “Ecological Public Health: Reshaping the conditions of good health

3.15 pm


4.45 pm

Overview and conclusions of the workshop

Raymond Neutra, Former Chief, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health

5.15 pm

Completion of evaluation forms and close of meeting

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  • Limited spaces available on the day, please email the event coordinator to book


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organiser's details

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