Trust in Peer Review

by jdm | Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 1:05 PM

by Robin W. Coleman Trust is at the core of scholarly endeavor, of how we communicate scholarship, and it’s also at the heart of public health. Now, more than ever, we can draw straight lines between all of these. As the editor for Public Health at Johns Hopkins University Press I’m in a good position to see how trust is both a tool and an aim of work across fields. It would be easy, for Peer Review Week (September 21 to 25, 2020), to point out that most public health publishing takes place in peer-reviewed journals and books, and therefore we know it’s reliable. But these days the connection between peer review, trust, and our day-to-day lives is outlined in neon so bright that it leaves afterimages when I close my eyes. I haven’t had an interaction with anyone outside my household in the last six months without considering public health knowledge and the trustworthiness of the evidence that’s kept me from having lunch with friends for half a year with no end in sight. Let’s look at it this way: more than 200,000 Americans have died due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and a...Read More

Women Time Travelers and the Study of Ancient Life

by eea | Thursday, September 17, 2020 - 4:00 PM

Imagine uncovering the bones of once-living animals that are millions of years old that no one has seen before, or leading an expedition to the Gobi Desert to search for dinosaurs. These are just a few of the thrilling adventures of women scientists, aka fossil bone hunters, that are told in the forthcoming book Rebels, Scholars, Explorers: Women in Vertebrate Paleontology , which I co-authored with Susan Turner (Johns Hopkins University Press, October 2020). Although women have made significant progress in STEM fields, they remain underrepresented, including in the field of paleontology. One-third of women earth scientists are paleontologists with 17% of those specializing in vertebrate paleontology, the study of backboned animals from the earliest fish and their relatives to humans . Two decades after the largest professional organization of vertebrate paleontologists—the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP)—was founded in 1940, women made up less than 10% of the membership. Now, women SVP members comprise 36% with the greatest growth among student members. Despite this growth, less than 25% of members of the society have jobs as curators or professors. Change has been slow and for many years paleontology was mostly a “boys’ club.” As a...Read More

Achieving Health for All: Primary Health Care in Action

by eea | Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 4:00 PM

What makes a person healthy? Before 2020, most people in high-income countries would have said: good personal choices and good health insurance. After 2020, people everywhere—rich and poor alike—realize that their own good choices were not enough. Now, the answer to being healthy obviously includes the public health choices of everyone in the places that we live. In the new book, Achieving Health for All , which we edited for the JHU Press, we emphasize that this 2020 global epiphany is actually déjà vu. In 1978, the public health choices in communities became the central concern of a global UN conference held in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. Delegates rallied around the term “comprehensive Primary Health Care” which was described further in the Declaration of Alma-Ata as, “essential care based on practical, scientifically sound and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation and at a cost that the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. ” 1 The Declaration included the goal of “health for all by the year 2000” centering on the need for...Read More

Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World

by eea | Tuesday, September 8, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The pandemic has wiped out our social lives and the approaching election is dominating our political awareness. Dire straits for some of us. But an opportune time to start thinking seriously about what you really, truly want our presidents to be and to do for you, for America, and for the world. With that in mind, the Johns Hopkins University Press has released a paperback version of Eisenhower: Becoming the Leader of the Free World . This is a short (218 pages of text) study of Ike’s development and careers as a military and political leader. Although he led in both war and peace, this is not like the famous book with that title, a massive tome that has produced more guilt than entertainment for generations of beach-bound Americans. You can finish Eisenhower in a couple of evenings and find yourself better positioned intellectually to make your vital decisions in early November. What you will see in action is a President who started his political career by deciding what the most important problems facing the nation were in 1953 and what the nation’s long-term goals should be. This was not as easy as it sounds. Why?...Read More

Becoming a Wildlife Professional

by eea | Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The origin of Becoming a Wildlife Professional was conceived after 20 years of experience teaching introductory wildlife ecology to freshmen university students. During the first class of each new semester, students are asked what wildlife career they desire. There are literally hundreds of potential careers a person can obtain with a BS degree in wildlife ecology and management. Nonetheless, students typically reply with only two answers – a game warden or a manager of a wildlife game ranch. Incoming university students are unaware of the variety of career options available to them within the wildlife field. Furthermore, graduate students in wildlife programs are often not aware of the variety of jobs available to them in the wildlife profession. For example, last semester at the University of Montana, we had a special graduate seminar that introduced graduate students to the numerous types of jobs available. Quite simply, there are many students that are not well informed about the opportunities available to them. Unfortunately, high school career counselors seem to be equally unaware of potential wildlife-related careers and often provide limited advice to interested students. For example, we have asked several high school counselors what career they would suggest...Read More