John Snow, Father of Epidemiology

A London physician by the name of John Snow mapped out the spread of a cholera outbreak in the city 150 years ago. Realizing that a common factor among the victims was use of a particular communal water pump, Snow removed the pump handle — and the outbreak subsided. Because of his insight, Snow is now regarded by many as the father of the science of epidemiology. We look back at Snow's life, and at the development of epidemiology.

Dr. Nigel Paneth, co-author, Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. Professor of epidemiology and of pediatrics, associate dean of research, College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University.

Dr. Howard Brody, co-author, Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. Professor of family practice in the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences College of Human Medicine. Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University.

Stephen Rachman, co-author, Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow, associate professor of English. Director of the American Studies Program, Michigan State University.

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