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This month we carry three complementary sets of observations on ethics, science, and public health, including a consideration of the concept of the neutral expert and an exploration of how public health ethics can be accommodated in consumerism. See pages 3–6
Speaker’s corner challenges the conventional epidemiological focus of cardiovascular research on myocardial infarction rather than angina as a hard end point, and in our Gallery we feature Jose Maria Bengoa, who has given 65 years to public health in the Americas. See pages 2
For a Glossary, we offer research in occupational health, a collaboration between Valencia and Seattle. See page 7
Health Impact Assessment ventures out of the laboratory in a paper from Glasgow that explores its role in assessing housing improvements, and a paper from Singapore looks at avoidable hospitalisation rates as measures of the quality of primary care. See pages 11, 17
A suite of Research Reports explore social capital as a variable in leisure time physical activity; the differential correlates of physical activity in urban and rural adults; the risk of coeliac disease among children born in the summer; and the effect of childhood and adult socioeconomic position on cause-specific mortality. Meanwhile, Marmot’s group return to publication with a paper on whether retirement is good or bad for mental and physical health of British civil servants, and a Canadian contribution provides support for a role for gaseous pollution in asthma admissions of children to hospital. See pages 23–55
In Theory and Methods there is a focus on social inequalities in health by individual and household measures of social position; a discussion of low response rates in surveys of adolescent risk taking behaviours and their meaning; and a discussion of the role of the world wide web in data collection for research. Finally, a report from the WHO-CINDI Project adds to our understanding of dietary surveys in epidemiological research. See pages 56–80