This weekend, one of my favorite academic-flavored blogs on the internet shuttered its doors. Effect Measure was a blog about public health and public health policy. The authors, who collectively wrote under the pseudonym "revere" in recognition of Paul Revere's service on the first local Board of Health in the U.S., are expert epidemiologists that brought detailed technical expertise to issues of public health along with a broad knowledge of public health policy and its role on American health. Although I read their blog regularly, their daily -- indeed, sometimes hourly -- analysis of the swine flu outbreak were indispensable and made it a daily read during and after the outbreak. Being flu epidemiologists they provided sorely-needed analysis of the technical aspects in common language that really helped explain the crisis. They were so skilled at doing this that their writing ended up being more science journalism than expert testimony. They brought the same level of attention to topics such as food safety, occupational health, and science policy. They have handed off their role of the public health blog of record at Science Blogs (a great collection of blogs about various topics relating to different disciplines of science and medicine) to The Pump Handle. Although I will miss the "reveres," if they recommend a blog as highly as they do The Pump Handle, I look forward to reading more.

And, speaking of looking forward to reading more, also filling the absence will be a new blog -- Improving Population Health -- founded and edited by David Kindig at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.1 David is not only an expert in the field, he literally defined the field. He writes that it is "intended to serve as a forum for discussion and a call for action as we consider what all of us -- across all sectors -- can do to improve the health of our communities." His work has already done that for many years, most recently with the publication of the County Health Rankings earlier this year. The blog is already off to an auspicious start with a great lineup of guest contributors including my colleague, Sarah Gollust, in a few weeks.

Godspeed, Reveres, thank you for your contribution to the world of public health and welcome to the blogosphere, Dr. Kindig!

  1. Full disclosure: The blog is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who funds the Health & Society Scholars Program that pays my salary. 


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