I love when I come across people, who in a public health perspective are high ranking and hold influential positions in public health – and who blog! It proves that blogging is for all, whether you’re a public health student or the dean of a School of Public Health. This week I came across a great example of the later.
Antoine Flahault is dean of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP, School of Public Health, which belongs to Sorbonne Paris Cité, a confederal French university), and a regular blogger on his own University blog, which is simply called Antoine Flahault’s blog, and was started already in November 2007 (it is available in both English and French).
The content of the blog seems very much to be a reflection of the different aspects of public health which Antonie encounters both as a Dean of a School of Public Health and as a public health professional himself. He shares his thoughts and opionion on for example (and these are just a few!):
- peer-reviewed articles he comes across (eg. reflections on the lack of precision in health statistics inspired by a recent Lancet article)
- new research findings from the EHESP and how they link up with other research, current recommendations etc. (eg. relation between closing schools and seasonal influenza)
- his own teaching methods and the role of new technology (e.g. a great blog post on using twitter and social networks in teaching and research and role of open access)
- News in public health (e.g. blog post on the donation of 50 million dollars to the UCLA School of Public Health by J&K Fieldings)
- Lecture style posts on topics in public health (eg. the blog post on Evidence-based bioethics? which tries to explain and discuss some of the concepts of bioethics)
What I like about the blog is that Antonie Flahault is not afraid to share his opinion. He argues for his points of view and thus indirectly gives a window into where he sees that a school of public health should be heading. He poses questions and invites comments (although this doesn’t seem much used), which hopefully stimulates discussion and reflection among his readers.
And then something I appreciate very much: he writes as himself. Not only as the dean, but as Antonie Flahault. This gives the blog a personal touch, which makes it engaging to read. There are no pictures, but lots of background links and the blog is very much alive with very regular postings of new blogs. I truly feel I have learnt something new or reflected on a topic after having read his blog posts.
I have come across other blogs run by deans of public health – but not many, and this one is definitely the absolute best I have encountered so far. I just started following Antoine on Twitter and look forward to reading more of his thoughts on public health, which are very inspirering.
Other examples of blogs (not newsletters) by Deans of Schools of Public Health:
- Monday Morning by Barabar K. Rimer from UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
- Monday Gold by Marla J. Gold from Drexel University’s School of Public Health.
Just a little bit of background info on Antoine Flahault:
Antoine Flahault was formerly a public health intern, doctor of medicine, doctor of biomathematics, professor of public health at Université Paris Descartes – public health practitioner at Hôtel Dieu de Paris ; he was former head of the public health department at Tenon hospital, Paris. He headed the Sentinelles research team at Inserm-UPMC (UMR-S 707) and the WHO Collaborating Centre for electronic disease surveillance. He co-ordinated a research programme bringing together disease surveillance, preventive epidemiology and mathematical modelling. In collaboration with WHO, he developed the international ‘flu monitoring system (FluNet). In 2006 he was responsible for setting up an interdisciplinary unit for research into Chikungunya and since 28 November 2007 he has been responsible for a research and monitoring unit into emerging diseases in the Guyana and Caribbean region. He was appointed director of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique (EHESP, School of Public Health, which belongs to Sorbonne Paris Cité, a confederal French university) from 1 January 2008. He has been elected as president of the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER) in 2010-2011. He has been elected as Correspondant Member at the French Academy of Medicine in December 2009.