EHEN conference 2021

Decoding the exposome: the biggest influencer on health” took place on Friday 11 June 2021. The conference programme included three keynote presentations, two panel discussions and a number of break-out outs, enabling participants to hear from each other of the nine EHEN projects.


Overall, there was a general feeling that exposome science has matured: people are recognizing that this is different to what was before it, and we are moving away from one exposure, one disease.

Keynote speaker Dr. Rick Woychik talked about the challenges to defining the exposome, the need to operationalize on a global scale and the aspiration of a global exposome project.

During the policy stakeholder panel discussion, messages included:

  • Only by understanding the human exposome can we create better prevention strategies
  • We have to substantially enhance our knowledge of the risks, since only 50% of them are known.
  • Researchers can help to find where policies can be strengthened
  • Policy makers need to be open to research and endorse it.

During the scientific stakeholder panel session, questions were asked about what is missing, do we understand how to address and how to measure the exposome?

Big data doesn’t necessarily equal big knowledge and correlation does not mean causality. We have to work on a set of very rigorous approaches. Yes, we could use genetic approaches, but in order to replicate you have to have studies in existence to replicate from and they are not there.

How can we move the conversation from an academic one into a policy one? We have to provide incentives to produce national strategies. Science should be available to the public.

Missed it? You may contact the Exposome Support Office to get a personal link to one of the lectures we archived at Vimeo.