A Special Issue

By Paul Seifert

The Bloomberg School has a habit of leading.

Groundbreaking discoveries and innovative solutions to public health challenges are routine for our faculty. And in the Office of External Affairs, we work hard to lead in our own way as well.   

This issue of Johns Hopkins Public Health represents the latest example. While a single issue focused on a single disease separates this effort from previous ones, that’s not the only reason this issue is special. It is also the first in our new publication schedule. We will now publish Johns Hopkins Public Health three times per year.

Few publications are expanding these days, and fewer still have the luxury to focus on a single topic. Our culture of mass distraction seems to demand constantly changing info bites with little context. If there is any topic that requires our long-term attention and our commitment, it is malaria. As you have read already, malaria is an ancient human enemy that still exacts a global toll of nearly 800,000 deaths every year. There are plenty of grim reminders of malaria’s costs in human lives and health, and this issue does not shrink from them. (See Myaing Nyunt’s personal story.) But we also present a candid, open view of the current state of malaria research and its future promise and obstacles. With support from government as well as generous individuals and foundations, we will continue to make inroads against malaria and ultimately vanquish the disease.

At a time when publishing companies and other schools’ publications are shrinking, we are ramping up. Why? Because we think it’s important to share more of the remarkable public health stories that originate with our researchers and their partners here in Baltimore and around the world. I have the good fortune to meet regularly with faculty here at the Bloomberg School and am constantly amazed by their creativity, their intellects and their world-changing research. Each of our more than 500 full-time faculty have a story to tell, an insight to share and a fresh perspective on an important public health issue.

In surveys about the magazine and in conversations with alumni and friends of the School, we have heard loud and clear that readers want to hear from us more than twice a year. So, with Dean Michael J. Klag’s support, we are answering that call. Our new schedule allows us to begin each calendar year with an in-depth special issue that will illuminate a topic of prime public health importance. In May, our spring issue will feature our traditional bold mix of compelling stories from the world of public health.

You should also know that our commitment to telling the stories of public health is not limited to print. We realize the world is changing. You already can enjoy video and audio interviews on the magazine’s website. And one day, you will not be reading this magazine on paper or a website but as an e-publication on an iPad or some other device yet to be invented.

We intend to lead in that area as well.