Virchow Foundation

for Global Health



Founder of Modern Medicine | Father of Modern Pathology
Founder of Social Medicine | Physician | Biologist
Anthropologist | Politician | Writer

Rudolf Virchow was an example of a great scientist, medical doctor, pathologist, anthropologist, sociologist and influential politician, who with his ideas, discoveries and activities, had profound impact on the health and wellbeing of people during his time through present day.

Virchow united in one person the interdisciplinary, intersectoral and humanistic activity which is needed to improve global health. Rudolf Virchow is thus an example and an inspiration to successfully bridge, with complexity, the increasing challenges within health and other areas of our modern civilisation.

The Virchow Prize for Global Health was launched in October 2021, providing symbolic value to the global health community’s celebration of Rudolf Virchow’s 200th birthday on October 13, 2021.

“Medicine is a social science and politics is nothing but medicine on a grand scale!”

Global and public health is currently defined as “the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through organised efforts of society”, or in the words of Rudolf Virchow, “medicine is a social science and politics is nothing but medicine on a grand scale!

There is consensus that the relationship between medical, political, economic and social determinants must be addressed directly and jointly in order to achieve sustainable and universal improvement of health.