Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Definitions of Epidemiology

The other day my wife, a budding epidemiologist asked me,”can you define epidemiology?”. 

I retorted,”why to define something we all know”

She explained the importance of definitions.

Yes, definitions and terminologies are relevant. Those keep the boundaries intact. 

I started thinking “is it not at the expense of potential expansion?”. 

Do we need to be so rigid? 

No definitions are  eternal torahs. Those are dynamic, it changes to accommodate the extensions of knowledge in the domain. 

One interesting image of a big tree extending its branches over the boundary wall flashed before me, and people cutting down those branches mercilessly. My daydream next drifted into someone keep on backtracking with a sword and shield of definitions as the hero of   a new knowledge advances forward without caring a damn.

Definitions are not god given. Most of the origins can be traced back to a single source ,to an authority or to overarching patriarch or an author of a blockbuster book. 

I am terrible at echoing definitions. 

But I tried to parrot the well known aphorism of Last, but failed, cutting a sorry figure before my wife.

I decided to curette out the myriads of definitions of epidemiology down the timeline.

The various definitions are