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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index E > Category: Epidemiology

Epidemiology Quotes (3 quotes)

I arrived at the conclusion in the latter part of 1848, that cholera is communicated by the evacuations from the alimentary canal.
John Snow
In 'On the Mode of Communication of Cholera', The Edinburgh Medical Journal (Jan 1856), Vol. 1, No. 7, 668-669.
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Shoe leather epidemiology.
[Langmuir stressed that investigators go into the field to collect their own data and directly view the locale of a public health problem. His graduates wore lapel pins of a shoe with a hole in the sole.]
As stated in 'Alexander Langmuir Dies at 83', New York Times (24 Nov 1993), D19.
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What Pasteur and Langmuir believed—and what history has shown—is that both epidemiologists and laboratory scientists can make independent discoveries that have significant scientific impact, but collaboration across these disciplines has a synergistic effect, yielding public health data that are stronger than either discipline can provide alone
These words are not quoted directly from Walter R. Dowdle, but are a paraphrase of an explanation of an epigraph attributed to him: [“Alexander Langmuir was quoted in the early 1960s instructing incoming Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officers that the only need for the laboratory in an outbreak investigation was to ‘prove their conclusions were right.’— Walter R. Dowdle (2011)”], to Chap. 9, M. Shannon Keckler, Reynolds M. Salerno, and Michael W. Shaw, 'Optimizing Epidemiology–Laboratory Collaborations' in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The CDC Field Epidemiology Manual (2018), 188. These authors paraphrased and expanded on a footnoted reference for which Dowdle was the corresponding author: “Langmuir’s point was not to denigrate the laboratory but to emphasize the power of an investigation based on a solid clinical case definition and established field epidemiologic principles,” in Walter R. Dowdle, Leonard W. Mayer, Karen K. Steinberg, Neelam D. Ghiya and Tanja Popovic (co-authors), 'CDC Laboratory Contributions to Public Health', Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Supplements (7 Oct 2011), 60, 27. [This epigraph was complemented by another: “Sans laboratoires les savants sont des soldats sans armes.”. Without laboratories men of science are soldiers without arms. — Louis Pasteur (1923).]
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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- 90 -
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