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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

Town Hall’s Science series is dedicated to understanding the world around us. Whether we’re hearing from a legendary physicist or a UW graduate student, the Science series explores math, biology, chemistry, the environment, and so much more.

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May 20, 2019

Americans spend more money on health than people anywhere else in the world. Yet, according to physician Sandro Galea, Americans live statistically shorter, less healthy lives than citizens of other rich countries—and these trends show no signs of letting up. Galea joined us at Town Hall with healthcare insight from his book Well for an examination on what Americans miss when they fixate on healthcare: health. The problem, Galea argued, is that Americans focus on the wrong things when they think about health.

Our national understanding of what constitutes “being well” is centered on medicine—the lifestyles we adopt to stay healthy, and the insurance plans and prescriptions we fall back on when we’re not. Galea asserted that, while all these things are important, they’ve not proven to be the difference between healthy and unhealthy on the large scale. Listen in with Galea for an examination of the ways American history and character have contributed to our country’s failing health—and how refocusing on our national health can usher enlightenment across American life and politics.

Sandro Galea is Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. He has been named an “epidemiology innovator” by Time and one of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” by Thomson Reuters. A native of Malta, he has served as a field physician for Doctors Without Borders and held academic positions at Columbia University, University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Recorded live at The Forum at Town Hall Seattle on May 14, 2019.