Monday, April 15, 2013

John Snow's legacy: epidemiology without borders

The Lancet, Volume 381, Issue 9874, Pages 1302 - 1311, 13 April 2013


This Review provides abstracts from a meeting held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, on April 11—12, 2013, to celebrate the legacy of John Snow. They describe conventional and unconventional applications of epidemiological methods to problems ranging from diarrhoeal disease, mental health, cancer, and accident care, to education, poverty, financial networks, crime, and violence.

Common themes appear throughout, including recognition of the importance of Snow's example, the philosophical and practical implications of assessment of causality, and an emphasis on the evaluation of preventive, ameliorative, and curative interventions, in a wide variety of medical and societal examples. Almost all self-described epidemiologists nowadays work within the health arena, and this is the focus of most of the societies, journals, and courses that carry the name epidemiology.

The range of applications evident in these contributions might encourage some of these institutions to consider broadening their remits. In so doing, they may contribute more directly to, and learn from, non-health-related areas that use the language and methods of epidemiology to address many important problems now facing the world………….”

a. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

b. Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Brazil

c. RTI Health Solutions, Research Triangle Institute, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA

d. Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

e. Cancer Virology Program, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

f. Chatham House Centre on Global Security, London, UK

g. Cure Violence, University of Illinois—Chicago, School of Public Health, IL, USA

h. Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

i. UCL Jill Dando Institute for Security and Crime Science, University College London, London, UK

j. School of Education, Durham University, Durham, UK

k. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA

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