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- Fullilove, Edgoose, Fullilove - Chaos, criticality, and public health
Fullilove RE, Edgoose JC, Fullilove MT. J Natl Med Assoc. 1997 May;89(5):311-6. Abstract: Self-organized criticality offers more than a descriptive model or a doomsday forecast. We have tried to suggest that it is a paradigm for understanding the interconnections between apparently complex processes. At best, it suggests a method for finding the pressure points that can be used to bring unstable systems of public health services into greater levels of stability. The model enjoins us to understand that our goal is not to achieve equilibrium--that perfect match between the demand for health services and its delivery--but rather stability (or, more precisely, metastability). As is true of the sandpile, our systems of public health are constantly evolving. If we are correct, then the mechanism driving this ostensibly complex pattern of change and growth reflects the existence of simpler and, hopefully, more manageable processes. By monitoring these processes, it may be increasingly possible to adapt to change and even manage it effectively. Full-text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2608166/
- Gary Greenberg: The beautiful nano details of our world
Gary Greenberg: The beautiful nano details of our world Filmed April 2012 at TEDxMaui
- Neil Pearce and Franco Merletti - Complexity, simplicity, and epidemiology
Int. J. Epidemiol. (June 2006) 35 (3): 515-519. "The health of a population can be viewed as a complex adaptive system. "The key concepts of complexity theory are self-organization, adaptation, upheavals at the edge of chaos, the unpredictability of the effects of small changes in initial conditions, and the existence of simplicity at some levels while chaos exists at others. "To date complexity theory has received the most application in epidemiology with regard to communicable disease, but there is considerable potential for its application to the study of non-communicable disease. "It will be necessary to develop new epidemiological methods that are more appropriate for addressing the complexity of population Health."
- Wasim Maziak - Is uncertainty in complex disease epidemiology resolvable?
Emerging Themes in Epidemiology 2015, 12:7 Abstract: The imposed limitations on what we can know about nature have been long recognized. Yet in the field of epidemiology a futile search for lifestyle-related risk factors for common chronic diseases continues unabated. This has led to the production of a growing body of evidence about potential lifestyle risk factors that tend to be marginal, contradictory, irreproducible, or hard to interpret. While epidemiologists are calling for a more refined methodology, I argue that our limitation in studying complex diseases is insurmountable. This is because the study of lifestyle-related small risks requires accurate measurement of multiple behaviors-exposures over a long period of time. It is also because in complex systems such as population’s health, the effect of rich interactions between its parts cannot be predicted based on traditional causal models of epidemiology. Within complex systems, understanding the interactions between system components can be more important than the contribution of each to disease risk.
- Wasim Maziak - The triumph of the null hypothesis: epidemiology in an age of change
Int. J. Epidemiol. (2009) 38 (2): 393-402 "There is a crisis of credibility facing epidemiology today, brought about by the barrage of studies with less than optimal methods and conflicting results. "As epidemiology enters the era of chronic disease and small risk, it becomes more critical for epidemiological studies to be guided at the inception by well-grounded hypotheses, a dynamic perception of the relation between exposure-outcome and to utilize accurate assessment tools. "Novelty or methodological precision should not substitute for public health relevance when evaluating epidemiological studies. "New conceptual (e.g. multilevel ecoepidemiology) and methodological (e.g. Mendelian randomization) advances should be embraced in light of the need to downsize epidemiology to what is testable, measurable and relevant. "An evolutionary and dynamic understanding of our interactions with our changing environments can provide a guiding context for epidemiological research."