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WITHOUT IT, WE ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEATING OURSELVES
It’s a cliché, that without a knowledge of history we’re condemned to repeat it. This is especially true of health policy and public health. Remarkably, despite the renaissance of public health over the past 20 years, our history has remained all but invisible. The journal intends to change all that, and, beginning this month, we will be carrying regular historical contributions. To kick us off, Virginia Berridge and Martin Gorsky contribute an Editorial on the importance of the past in public health linked to a paper by Scally and Womack, which includes some good signposts for the beginner. The recently established Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine should help to provide us with a focus, but clearly it is important that a historical capacity should be built in all those academic institutions that lay claim to educating the next generation of practitioners at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. This point is further elaborated in a veritable manifesto for public health history by Gabriel Scally. See pages 728, 751
The humanities are further represented in this issue by several contributions in Continuing Professional Education. Mackenbach reflects on the streets of Paris, sunflower seeds, Nobel Prizes and the quantitative paradigm of public health, while two further papers in the same section launch our commitment to exploring the contribution of literature to epidemiology and public health. This series was inspired by a course on social …