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The Duncan Society

The Duncan Society is a Merseyside and Cheshire based organisation which was established in 1998 to foster discussion and debate about public health issues which have direct and specific relevance to the people of the area.

The Society takes its name from the first Medical Officer of Health in England, Dr William Henry Duncan, appointed by Liverpool Council in 1847.  It takes its inspiration not just from the efforts of Duncan but also from those other early pioneers who collaborated in providing engineering, sanitary and social science skills to the development of a public health system.


To provide a focus and a forum for the widest possible group of people in order to enable them to share in discussion and debate on matters affecting the standard of public health in the geographical area of Cheshire and Merseyside in order to:

  • project public health as a broad holistic subject that is owned by no one but its shareholders, who represent many disciplines and who can present the social, environmental, biomedical, economic and lay points of view
  • facilitate and promote discussion amongst the communities of Merseyside and Cheshire, on issues, proposals and developments which impact on the public health of the population
  • provide a mechanism for the production and dissemination of information that has relevance to improving the public health
  • critically appraise and if necessary comment on proposals, and developments which impact upon public health
  • foster joint learning experiences
  • influence investment in health in its broadest sense

The Duncan Society makes a special contribution through its capacity to bring together community activists, experts of various kinds, professionals, managers and the general public. Membership is open to any individual who has an interest in public health and supports the aims of the Society.