This site is devoted to conceptual and methodological issues in epidemiology and public health science: in short, to the Philosophy of Epidemiology. The site is run by Alex Broadbent, a philosopher of science, who has worked with conceptually inclined epidemiologists to identify topics of mutual interest. The founding conviction is that epidemiologists and philosophers have something to learn from each other, and the hope is that they will.
Philosophy and epidemiology are very different disciplines, which can make “conversation” challenging. Actual conversations – physical meetings – are rare and brief. Publishing is slow, requirements differ greatly between the disciplines, and a degree of polish and qualification is required which often obscures points to the non-initiated reader, as someone from another discipline must be. Email communications between individuals can be very helpful but are tragically (or fortunately) private. So it makes sense to develop a new area of academic study through online discussion.
If you post a comment, you are asked to exercise the proper degree of academic respect and restraint. But you are also encouraged to use the freedom of this forum to try things out which you might not try out in print.
Advocating a new subdiscipline may seem rather backward, given the vogue for interdisciplinary work. And it may seem rather presumptuous, as if to suggest that brand new problems never before studied have suddenly been identified. This is not, however, an exercise in disciplinary territorialism. Epidemiology is a young science which has not yet been the focus of philosophical study in the way of (say) physics, biology, or economics. The aim is to encourage reflection on the conceptual and methodological challenges of epidemiology, not under the pretence that they are unique, but in the reasonable hope that doing so will be of mutual benefit of philosophy and the science.