To this day and age, deep-routed, structural inequalities in health have been one of the most consistent and pressing challenges society has faced. Recent events, such as the COVID19 pandemic highlight the urgent need for new research, insights and action to tackle this challenge for future generations. Embracing the COST Mission, the Great Leap takes a unique, multidisciplinary approach from a historical perspective to gain a greater understanding of the roots and drivers of health inequalities across regions and countries in Europe and beyond. To achieve this mission, the Great Leap creates an international, multidisciplinary network that will bundle expertise, techniques, insights and data to create (1) the first international comparable dataset of individual-level historical cause of death data, (2) innovative analytical tools to analyse it, and (3) insights into how this information can be used in current public health policy and practice.
The network includes a wide range of academic expertise in history, social sciences, life sciences and epidemiology and involves university-, research-, government- and (international) health institutes and organizations, including statistical offices and national archives. The network has deliberately chosen for a balanced gender (52.5% male, 45.5% female, 2% non-binary), ITC (52%) and YRI (51%) representation, and aims to maintain this while expanding its network internationally. By fostering the strengths of this unique, multidisciplinary and diverse network, the Great Leap aims to generate ground-breaking insights into the historical roots and drivers of health inequalities across regions and countries in Europe and beyond.