KBS Aims

Aims and activities

The aim of the Kettil Bruun Society is to promote social and epidemiological research which fosters a comparative understanding of the social aspects of alcohol use and alcohol problems.  We aim also to promote a spirit of international cooperation.

Our activities include

  • Acting as a medium for comparative research projects
  • Sponsoring international seminars on theoretical, methodological or substantive topics
  • Organising regular meetings for the presentation of research papers and discussion

A Short Description

The Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol was formed in 1987 to bring together three existing traditions of international work.

The first of these is an Annual Alcohol Epidemiology Symposium, held for a week each year, usually in early June. The first symposium was held in 1975 as part of a larger meeting of the International Council on Alcohol and Addictions; the symposium began operating as a freestanding meeting in 1982.  At the Symposium, the aim is to maximize discussion. Papers are precirculated and introduced rather than read, and participants are assigned to give prepared commentaries. Papers on any topic broadly related to the Society’s scope are welcomed; “epidemiology” is broadly construed to include also such strands as policy studies, historical and ethnographic research, cultural studies, and experimental social psychology.  Symposia normally have 150-200 participants from more than 20 countries.

The second tradition is of thematic meetings, with each focusing on a particular topic from an international perspective. On average two such meetings are held each year, usually for 4 or 5 days and with 30-50 participants. The tradition of such meetings began under the sponsorship of the former International Group for Comparative Alcohol Studies (IGCAS) in 1982.

The third tradition is of collaborative international research projects, which operate autonomously under the umbrella of the Kettil Bruun Society.  The 1973-1975 “purple book” project led by Kettil Bruun might be regarded as the first of these, and IGCAS was the third.  There have since been a number of such projects. One current example is the International Research Group on Gender and Alcohol (IRGGA), which meets each year before the KBS June Symposium.

The Kettil Bruun Society operates under a set of By-Laws and is based on individual membership, with a modest annual fee. Full membership is limited to researchers in the field, while others may become associate members. Officers and a Coordinating Committee are elected by members, with provisions ensuring diverse national representation.

The Kettil Bruun Society also sponsors a listserve for those interested in discussions oriented to the society’s aims and activities.

See also: Demers A; Garretsen H; Room R; Rossow I; Ugland T. (2004) Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol. Addiction 99, 161–164.