Monthly Archives: August 2017

Book Reviews: The Science and History of Studying Epidemics

Note: This post consists of the following two sections:

  1. An essay version of the reviews, written for my library newsletter.
  2. A more detailed version that explains more about my motives and offers more details, book-by-book. I intend to add updates at the end as I review more of the genre. If you are interested in reading this version, you can skip the first version; everything other than the first paragraph of the first version appears in the second.



Book Review: The Science and History of Studying Epidemics

by Carl V Phillips, PhD

Epidemiology (the study of health outcomes and their causes) is the science that you most often encounter in the news and that has the most immediate impact on people’s lives. But readers with a taste for science books probably understand particle physics and population genetics better than they understand epidemiology. There are just not many books, and most of them are bad. I decided to journey through the HSL stacks to identify books about the science and historical development of epidemiology that would be useful to lay readers and that would be a good supplemental reading in an undergraduate class. While that history is not sufficient for understanding modern epidemiology, it is useful start. (The full version of this review plus more detail appear [here] (those reading a non-clickable version of this can use:

The one sentence version of what I found: Read Patient Zero; solving the mysteries of deadly epidemics, by Marilee Peters (2014). Continue reading