John Snow's legacy: Epidemiology without borders

Paul Fine, Cesar G. Victora, Kenneth J. Rothman, Patrick S. Moore, Yuan Chang, Val Curtis, David L. Heymann, Gary Slutkin, Robert M. May, Vikram Patel, Ian Roberts, Richard Wortley, Carole Torgerson, Angus Deaton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1302-1311
Number of pages10
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number9874
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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