Membership in the American Epidemiologic Society recognizes meritorious accomplishments in the field of epidemiology, but it is also based on expectations of continued active epidemiologic practice and willingness to participate in the intense collegial discussions and debates at the Society's annual meeting. I am honored to serve as president of the Society because I appreciate the uniqueness of a gathering of professional colleagues and friends, practicing epidemiology in fields ranging from birth defects, to cancer, to cardiovascular disease, to vaccine preventable diseases; in settings ranging from academic medical centers to Federal government agencies to foundations. We raise critical issues to spark questions and debates at the meeting—but also with the hope that these issues can then be addressed by policy or research when we go back to our epidemiology practice. And especially, we are stimulated by epidemiology's capacity to provide the scientific basis for public health progress-- to make a difference.
Claire Broome, MD