Students in Public Health 200 are required to do some bibliographic research as a part of class projects. Curious persons may do more than is required. And while most people celebrate graduation in-part as an emancipation from homework, most soon realize that learning becomes even more important after graduation.
Most persons will face one or more threats to their health when they make decisions about personal behavior, where to live, and where to work. Is vaping safe? Is my food safe? How important is body weight to my health? Is the house I want to buy safe? Is the water and air in my workplace or larger community safe? And when it comes to health, which leaders are paying attention to what matters? What do I need to know if I want to persuade others about the importance of health decisions?
This library guide is meant to help anyone develop introductory understanding and skills in bibliographic research. Basic skills include:
Public Health for the Educated Citizen.
In the 1850's when John Snow did his research about the occurrence of cholera, he did not know about bacteria and the role of bacteria in disease. He knew from his research and the spot maps he created showing the locations of persons with cholera, that persons with cholera were clustered in some areas of the city. He believed the water from pumps in those geographic clusters of cholera cases played a role in the occurrence of suffering and death attributable to cholera.
Sadly, he was usuccessful persuading London authorities that cholera could be prevented by removing the pump handles. Not in Snow's lifetime, but eventually his assertions and his methods would be accepted and would help modernize sanitation in London. Do you think a better educated population would have helped John Snow make a difference more quickly?
This drawing illustrates death serving up cholera at a public water pump in London. John Snow, a physician during the 1800's in London contributed to the practice of public health by first researching where cholera cases were occurring in London. He was unsuccessful in his efforts to persuade officials to act at the time of his study, but his study was the basis for modern sanitation in London, and his method was a contribution to epidemiology.