Top 25 Public Health Blogs of 2012

Top_Public_Health_BlogsThere are many great public health blogs on the web. Below are our picks for the Top 25 Public Health Blogs of 2012.

In compiling this list we looked for blogs regularly updated in 2012 with knowledgeable, interesting, and engaging content covering global health policy, epidemiology, behavioral science, health communication, environmental health, infectious diseases and other public health topics. We have included blogs covering just about every major category of public health work, some very narrowly focused, others more broad.

In order to avoid pigeon-holing blogs into a category that may not completely fit, we’ve simply listed them by title in alphabetical order. For each blog we’ve included a brief overview as well as a recommended post to get readers started. Enjoy!

Behavioral Science in the 21st Century – A behavioral analyst looks at current events from the perspective of behavioral science. Due to the deep connections between human behavior and health, there is much here that is relevant to public health even in posts not directly related to the subject.

Where to start: Predictive Policing: Predicting a Crime Before it Happens is an example of a recent post on a significant public health topic.

Better Health for All – The official blog of the Faculty of Public Health, the leading professional body of public health specialists in the United Kingdom, dedicated to public health promotion, protection, advocacy, and education. The go-to site for news and information on public health issues and events in the UK. Discussion and debate is encouraged, so don’t be afraid to mix it up!

Where to start: Find out what the ancients can teach us about often ignored dimension of public health in Authentic Happiness: What the Ancient Greeks Can Tell Us.

Brett Keller – A really beautifully designed blog on global health and development issues by a public health and public policy graduate student. Posts generally covers some aspect of public health or policy, but also stray into more personal reflections as well as photos from the author’s frequent travels.

Where to begin: If you love public health and The Lord of the Rings, you’ll definitely want to check out the hilarious #MiddleEarthPublicHealth mashup meme for something a little different.

Economist’s Lens – Kevin Frick brings a trained economist’s eye to matters of public health and health policy. A unique and valuable contribution to the public health blogging community.

Where to start: Did you know that Looking at Statistics in Isolation Can Lead to the Wrong Conclusions about public health issues like violence? Find out why!

Enviroblog – A group blog of the Environmental Working Group, the authors help make the connections between the environment and public health. Get the latest news and research on contaminants in our air, food, and water, as well as recommendations on what should be done about it.

Where to start: Learn about the potential dangers of cell phone radiation and what to do about it in Cell Phone Radiation May Alter Brain, DNA.

[EpiAnalysis] – Sanjay Basus, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, designed the blog as an online forum for public health researchers in epidemiology, policy, economics, and sociology. Posts cover a wide range of topics in global health but with an emphasis on the social, political, and economic forces at play.

Where to start: Check out Dr. Basus’s helpful breakdown of the key points of the groundbreaking 2010 Global Burden of Disease study.

GlobalHealthPolicy.net – As the name suggests, this is a blog on global health policy. Authored by Andrew Harmer, a Lecturer in Global health Policy at Edinburgh University, and Devi Sridhar, University Lecturer in Global Health Politics at Oxford University, posts are generally engaging, often witty, and always well informed.

Where to begin: The Elders are coming, look busy! is a hilarious take on a group of progressive world leaders calling themselves, yes, The Elders.

Global Health Policy – A group blog covering all aspects of global health policy, from HIV/AIDS, to childhood vaccination, to health insurance coverage. Contributors are professionals in their respective fields and bring a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives to the conversation.

Where to start: Review some of the most important public health events and research of last year with Global Health in 2012: A Year in Links.

haba na haba – Kim Yi Dionne is a political scientist with a special interest in the political dimensions of HIV/AIDS policy and development in Africa. The blog’s name comes from an African proverb meaning “little by little fills the measure,” a reference to the blog’s focus on little things while maintaining hope for large change.

Where to start: Reports of an herbal cure for HIV is the occasion for a fascinating discussion regarding differing perceptions and the racial/political dimensions of HIV/AIDS treatment in Africa.

Health Communication Research – Thoughtful, well-written analysis of the latest research in health communication. Authored by an Associate Professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations and the School of Public Health at the University of Texas at Austin.

Where to start: Check out Dr. Mackert’s call for advertisers and public health workers to learn how to get along and work together in The Real Bears: The Advertising Perspective

Humanosphere – A leading online news blog dedicated to covering happenings in global health, the fight against poverty, aid and development. Reporter Tom Paulson runs the site, bringing decades of experience covering stories on science, medicine, and public health around the world.

Where to start: Check out The burden of a new global health agenda announcing the publication of a report that “could do for global health something like what Galileo did for the solar system.”

Improving Population Health – The editors and frequent guest contributors of this group blog explore the latest in policy, research, and practice in population health improvement. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and hosted by the University of Wisconsin’s Department of Population Health Sciences, an excellent online forum for anyone interested in improving their community’s health.

Where to start: Get a refresher on the last year in population health with In the Literature 2012 Year-End Roundup.

Karen Grepin’s Global Health Blog – A public health researcher and consultant shares her thoughts on a variety of public health topics, with an emphasis on global health policy and health systems research. Extremely knowledgeable and well-informed, the author has been a global health consultant for the World Bank, World Health Organization, and the Gates Foundation.

Where to start: The Best Readings in Global Health is an overview of books the author recommends and a great place to begin learning about global health issues.

Monday Morning – Barbara K. Rimer is the dean of the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and offers her weekly take on the latest public health happenings and whatever other subject piques her interest. Always well written, interesting, and delivered with a clear passion for public health education and a desire for conversation.

Where to start: Check out Dr. Rimer’s passionate call to get honest about “one of the biggest and most preventable public health problems in our midst” in Binge Drinking: Enough Already!

Pop Health – A unique blog focusing on the intersection of pop culture and public health. Written by an experienced public health educator with an MPH, a special interest in health communication and the affect of media coverage on public health issues, and great wit, there really isn’t anything else like it out there.

Where to start: Check out the author’s take on celebrities who do more harm than good promoting health causes.

Public Health Perspectives – A new addition to the PLOS network of science and health blogs, two epidemiologists, two science teachers and an anthropologist from the US and the UK discuss issues in public health with depth and insight. New posts are made on a weekly basis.

Where to start: Race–and Place–Matters for Health is an excellent example of the kind of interesting, well-reasoned, and opinionated pieces you can find at the blog.

Public Health Is… – A project of student fellows at the UC Berkeley’s Center for Health Leadership, each weekly post attempts to answer the question “What is public health?” from a different angle. Overall, a great introduction to the breadth and diversity of the public health profession. The writing is generally solid, engaging, and opinionated.

Where to start: Public Health is…Buying Local makes an interesting case for localism as a public health issue.

Public Health Matters – The official blog of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. Regular stories and updates from public health events around the United States by a variety of public health professionals. And zombies! A must read for present and future public health workers.

Where to start: Check out Teaching Preparedness through a Zombie Outbreak to discover the uses of zombies in public health.

Statistical Epidemiology – A blog with the noble goal of promoting “the intelligent use and communication of statistics in health research.” While many of the posts can be challenging for the non statistically inclined, the author, a lecturer at the Centre for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Leeds, generally writes in a clear and accessible way that even non-specialists can follow.

Where to start: Check out this no BS guide on how to “lose weight” based on the author’s work as an obesity researcher.

Talking About Health – A companion blog to the book by the same name, author and Dr. Roxanne Parrott focuses on the importance of open and clear communication in health matters. Topics range from potential dangers of children’s backpacks, to personal fitness, to breast cancer, all from a public health communication angle.

Where to start: Check out Dr. Parrott’s recent post on Health Communication, Health Literacy, and the Affordable Care Act.

The Febrile Muse – Perhaps the only blog exploring the portrayal of infectious disease in literature and the arts. With a piece recently included in the Best of Science Writing Online 2012 anthology, the author, a pharmacist, is a talented writer who wears her passion for science and the arts on her sleeve.

Where to start: Check out the author’s recommendation on how to get more science in your life, and how to see its connection to the arts, in Short on Science?

The Public’s Health – A professor and doctoral candidate in public health at the Drexel University School of Public Health blog about why public health matters and the challenges involved in creating a healthy community and world. While some articles focus on the Philadelphia area where the authors work, they often range across the public health spectrum and across the globe covering everything from bioterrorism to poverty and mental illness.

Where to start: Every wonder Is Kanye West a Menace to Public Health? Well here’s your answer!

The Pump Handle – Named after the London cholera outbreak of 1854, caused by a water pump, this is a gathering place for public health workers around the world. A variety of public health experts discuss the latest news and provide analysis and opinion on public health happenings in every area of the field, from drug safety, to environmental health, to the latest in public health research.

Where to start: Check out Where Did the Pardoned Thanksgiving Turkey Come From?: Inspector Records Tell the Filthy Story for some interesting public health reporting that gets beneath the surface of a beloved holiday tradition.

The Rest of the Story – A professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at Boston University brings you the whole story behind the news on tobacco policy and industry. For incisive commentary on issues regarding tobacco and public health, there’s nothing else like it.

Where to start: Check out the Dr. Siegel’s critique of the anti-smoking movement’s objection to electronic cigarettes.

Topnaman Malaria Blog – A blog dedicated to news and discussion about malaria named after everyone’s favorite microwavable noodles. The author, studying to be an MD/Epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina and working for the National Institute of Malaria Research in India, offers smart and critical commentary on the latest publications and events related to malaria.

Where to start: Malaria hotspots and targeting is a great example of the type of thoughtful and critical engagement with recent research the author does so well.

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