The concept of public health has, at least in our times if not from its historical beginnings, become an Anglo-Saxon one. Most of Germany’s contribution to its development was eradicated in the 1930s, and it is only now that we are beginning to adopt this population-wide perspective anew. It therefore seems appropriate to introduce the discussion of public health in Germany with three papers highlighting the international scene. The first paper by R. M. Acheson takes us back to the 19th century in Great Britain, where the first curricula in public health were developed. The second paper by J. Pemberton provides a synopsis of research, training, and practice in epidemiology, which should be regarded as a basic science in preventive medicine and public health. The report was compiled at the request of the European Commission in Brussels in order to determine the statue of this most important subject in the member-states of the European Community. Finally, L. Breslow lays out the current objectives in the field of public health as they apply to the United States. The Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, the oldest institution of its kind in the world, was founded in 1916, and explicitly took up the English tradition of public health and the German advances in the biological health sciences being made in Germany at that time. However, it was only in the 1960s that a European Association of Schools of Public Health, encompassing by its own definition “any related institution responsible for postgraduate training in public health and social medicine”, was founded [1].


  1. 1.
    WHO Regional Office for Europe and ASPHER Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (1988). Health for all and Schools of Public Health: Implications for Training. WHO, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. Laaser

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations