Communication attempts to influence and support behavioural change identified as being important for individual and population health. People are encouraged to adopt new lifestyles, give up cigarettes, reduce alcohol and red meat consumption, to get vaccinated against the flu, be aware of health and environmental hazards, drive more safely and slowly to reduce road accidents, and adopt safe sex practices. Communication is also brought to bear on fostering environmentally friendly practice and sustainable development. It is hugely important in health crisis management and its difficulties may help to understand failures of vaccination campaigns (e.g. H1N1) and health scandals involving different medicines, (e.g. Mediator, Levothyrox). This issue of MEI aims to cast light on different interactions of public health and communication. This includes how communication bolsters the aforementioned hygienist ideology as well as how media may impact on people and their well-being. But above all it has a broader ambition to show that communication performs and frames how we deal with social and health issues. Communication is about how people jointly make meaning, as such, it is not simply about giving and
receiving information. It also has power to structure and mold reality and to affirm or discredit identities. Communication, thus, should be prized in the public health sphere just as much as epidemiology, since it contributes to both laying the foundation for change to our world and the way people act within it.