Brief Interview With Stephen Leeder, New Editor Of The International
Journal Of Epidemiology
Stephen Leeder, the new editor of the International Journal of
Epidemiology for this thoughts as he takes over the helm of the
journal. The first issue of the IJE under Dr Leeder’s direction was
published on April 24, 2017. It is accompanied by a very timely and
thought-provoking editorial entitled “Epidemiology in an age of anger
and complaint.” It speaks directly to the widespread concern in this
era of Trump and Brexit and the many calls for scientists to take
In his editorial, Leeder concludes, “Thoughtfully and
sensitively contextualized, epidemiology might even aid in setting
back on track a wobbling and complaining world, where bluster,
arrogance, bitterness, anger, populist sound bites and Twitter feeds
have displaced political and social agendas accurately informed by
science, facts, scholarship, and debate.”
can view the complete editorial to
learn why epidemiology, when
defined by Leeder as the “science of the people for the people”, has
the potential to accomplish what he proposes.
Here are our questions to Dr Leeder and his responses.
The final issue under the previous editors is a real behemoth in terms
of quantity and topics covered. What changes in form and content or
subject matter do you plan to make or hope to make?
Yes, George Davey Smith's and Shah Ebrahim's final
edition of IJE is truly encyclopaedic - in every sense! They
have provided outstanding leadership and leave the journal in high
The new editorial team is fully aware, and immensely
admiring, of the standard established by George and Shah. We seek to
maintain it - a formidable challenge!
The rapidly evolving world of scientific publication
demands that all journals, including the IJE, adapt in order to
make the best use of electronic platforms.
We are committed to extending the opportunities of
publication to countries where resources are restricted, opportunities
to publish are few, and where English language proficiency might be
What do you think is the biggest strength and the biggest challenge
the journal faces as you take over?
I think the biggest strength of the IJE to date has been the
quality of the original articles it has attracted and published. The
opportunities it provides for the publication of cohorts, for the
re-visiting of important historical papers, for the commentaries and
editorials have added greatly to its utility and readability.
The biggest challenge we face is maintaining the
quality of the research we publish while simultaneously adapting to
changing publication practice. We aim to meet the evolving demands of
public health for relevant epidemiological insights and appraisals
during this fourth (or fifth!) industrial revolution!