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In this number, we carry linked contributions from two of the great postwar public health practitioners, Professors Jerry Morris and Mervin Susser. Appropriately, we also initiate our new section, “The JECH Gallery”, with a portrait of Jerry Morris. At the age of 90, Jerry Morris is still producing powerful contributions to public health and social medicine. Morris, together with his group from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, considers what a minimum income for healthy living needs to be for single, working men aged 18 to 30 in the UK. The novel methodology deployed challenges policy makers to justify the assumptions that they make when setting seemingly arbitrary levels of income support. While Morriset al's focus is on young adult men, the same approach would be equally of interest, and politically timely if applied for example to the situation of pensioners. This work is in the great tradition of British poverty studies going back to Rowntree at the beginning of the 20th century.
Meanwhile, in an editorial on inequality, Mervin Susser touches base with Jerry Morris' work and explores the apparent paradoxes that determine the continuing existence of inequalities in health despite radical changes in disease patterns, and that relative inequality seems to increase with increasing standard of living.
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