Profile: John Eyles

Dr. John Eyles, University Distinguished Professor of Geography, and Departments of Clinical epidemiology and Biostatistics and of Sociology, as well as the Centre for Health Economics and Policy Analysis, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. John’s research interests include health and medical geography, environmental health, health-care decision-making (including resource allocation and public participation) and health and environmental risk management.

John Eyles was trained in the United Kingdom as a social geographer (BA and MSc, London School of Economics, PhD, University of London). Arriving at McMaster in 1988, John immediately jumped into the research grant arena. He has been imminently successful in competitions, being awarded singly or jointly some $15 million is less than two decades. He is interested in how decisions are made in health and environmental contexts at different geographical scales, including within and between national systems. The role of science and evidence in decision-making is a particular interest. He has, in the past few years, become interested in international health, writing on infectious disease and global environmental change and receiving funds to look at access to health care services among different populations, particularly in South Africa.

John has published widely in his fields of expertise with ten books and monographs, including titles in social geography, health and welfare geography and senses of place. He has authored or co-authored some 150 peer-reviewed journal articles, nearly 50 contributions to edited collections, numerous conference proceedings and technical reports. He publishes in a variety of international journals, including Social Science Medicine, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Health Economics, Emerging Infectious Diseases and Environmental Health Perspectives. His contributions to the literature have been applied, both quantitative and qualitative, and theoretical — especially from a constructionist, interactionist, social justice perspective.

John also serves on numerous advisory boards, especially relating to science and technology use in government. He is currently a member of Health Canada’s Advisory Panel for the National Chemical Management Plan. He has received numerous honours and visiting appointments, including election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. While carrying out his own work, John has also been directly involved in the training and supervision of 12 post-doctoral fellows and over 40 graduate students.

John may be contacted at

Updated: June 2008