JHU Press Blog

The Political Determinants of Health

by eea | Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 4:00 PM

In The Political Determinants of Health, author Daniel E. Dawes examines how policy and politics influence the social conditions that generate health outcomes. The following passage is an excerpt from the book.

Moving beyond Merely Nibbling at the Edges: Understanding, Managing, and Leveraging the Political Determinants of Health

Earlier, I mentioned that US citizens had added thirty years to their life expectancy, but only five of those years were attributed to better health care access and higher quality care. The other twenty-five years have been attributed to non–health care factors, including prevention and public health initiatives, affordable housing, education, employment, transportation, and other resources necessary to thrive in a society. Today, researchers have classified these as social determinants of health. According to Dr. Brian Smedley, a nationally distinguished expert, “recent bi-partisan interest in addressing the social determinants of health is an important development that hopefully will correct some of the imbalance in the United States’ investments in health—today, less than five cents of every federal health dollar is invested in prevention. But to make progress on some of our most deeply embedded health inequities, including racial,...Read More

What Difference Did the Nineteenth Amendment Make?

by may | Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 10:46 AM


2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the granting of women's suffrage in the United States through state ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment. The Spring 2020 issue of Journal of Women's History included a Special Forum to reflect on the milestone, asking "What Difference Did the Nineteenth Amendment Make?"   

The Special Forum was guest edited by Wayne State University's Liette Gidlow, who proposed, organized, and edited it. She joined four leading women's historians to write about the topic from different regional, class, and race perspectives.   

We are grateful to Dr. Gidlow for taking some time to discuss the issue in more detail.   


Q: How did this special issue on the 19th Amendment come about?  

I had been thinking about the 19th Amendment centennial for a long time. Honestly, I was dreading the approaching anniversary.  My concern was that it would be used as an occasion for national self-congratulation ("American democracy!  Isn't it great?!”) when, in my view, the story of woman suffrage was much more nuanced and complicated, and not always something to celebrate.  At the same time, I was frustrated with scholarly interpretations that the amendment didn't really change anything.  That...Read More

Vertebrate Biology, Third Edition

by eea | Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The First Edition of Vertebrate Biology was published in 1998; the Second Edition in 2012.  Since that time, many taxonomic changes and revisions have occurred, many new paleontological discoveries have enabled us to better comprehend the evolutionary origins of vertebrates, and many new discoveries have been made concerning the anatomy, physiology, and life histories of individual species of vertebrates – all of which have been incorporated into the Third Edition. But even more important are the global and regional changes that are affecting entire ecosystems and the very survivability of entire vertebrate species.  As I pondered the effects of the changes that have come to the forefront over the past two decades, I decided that the final two chapters of the Second Edition – Chapter 15. Extinction and Extirpation and Chapter 16. Conservation and Management – had to be expanded.  Thus, I made the decision to expand and elaborate on these subjects.  The resulting final chapters in the Third Edition are now entitled:  (16) Extinction and Extirpation: Natural and Human-Caused; (17) Restoration of Endangered Species; (18) Regulatory Legislation Affecting Vertebrates; (19) Wildlife in a Modern World:  Threats and Conservation; (20) Climate Change;...Read More

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...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...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...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...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...Read More

¡Celebremos! A JHUP Journals Hispanic Heritage month reading list

by may | Monday, August 31, 2020 - 1:48 PM

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15. This is a time to celebrate the culture, history, and contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation was born in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, and was expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. 

The celebration starting day of September 15 is significant, because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The period is also a nod to those from Mexico and Chile, which celebrate their independence on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

From public health to literature, religion to colonial history, here is a sampling of just a few of the many JHUP Journal articles that examine the Hispanic American experience from many different lenses.

The Lens of Latinx Literature
Marilisa Jiménez García 
Children's Literature, Volume 47, 2019


The Queer Migrant Poemics of #Latinx Instagram
Urayoán Noel
New Literary History, Volume 50, Number 4, Autumn 2019

...Read More

Collected Blog Series: Well-Being in the Age of COVID-19

by eea | Monday, August 3, 2020 - 3:00 PM

At the beginning of the 2020 coronavirus crisis, we reached out to Johns Hopkins University Press authors – experts in fields of health and wellness – for their advice on how to weather this unprecedented storm. We happily received, read through, and published the submissions that came in, and we welcome you to explore them as well. Topics covered include mental health, the future of international travel, physical wellness, and much more. The entire series, “Wellbeing in the Age of COVID-19,” is free to read via the links below:

“Dementia-Aware” Support for Family and Professional Caregivers Through the COVID-19 Pandemic – By Laura Wayman

How Will International Travel Change After the Coronavirus Pandemic? – By Charles E. Davis, M.D.
...Read More