What is it about?

This paper examines why water fluoridation as a public health policy frequently fails to be implemented. It argues that colleagues in Public Health need to better understand the politics of policy formation and implementation.

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Why is it important?

The paper demonstrates how a window of opportunity to implement a public policy failed to materialise because of clashes between values and evidence. Public Health practitioners need to pay more attention to such differences instead of doubling down on evidence.


This is such an important paper for me because it shows that social and political sciences have so much to bring to public health and oral; health policy. It is the start of a new collaboration and it was a lot of fun to work on.

Barry Gibson
University of Sheffield

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: When evidence alone is not enough: the problem, policy and politics of water fluoridation in England, Evidence & Policy, January 2021, Policy Press,
DOI: 10.1332/174426420x16079614941921.
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