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Ann Epidemiol. 2014 Mar;24(3):171-3. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2013.11.010. Epub 2014 Jan 3.

Epidemiology as a liberal art: from graduate school to middle school, an unfulfilled agenda.

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Yale Center for Perinatal, Pediatric and Environmental Epidemiology, Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, CT; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; Department of Neurology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT. Electronic address:


Calls by Lilienfeld, Fraser, and others some three decades ago to introduce epidemiology into undergraduate college education remain largely unfulfilled. Consideration of epidemiology as a "liberal art" has also led to exploring possibilities for introducing epidemiology into early education: to high and even middle schools. Adding epidemiology to school curricula should help educate the public to understand science-based evidence concerning the causes and treatments of disease, help inoculate them against a tsunami of biased and fraudulent media messaging, and permit advancing postgraduate education in epidemiology to even higher levels of scholarship.


Curricula; Education; Epidemiology; Public health; Teaching

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