Erasmus Summer Programme Courses

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History of Epidemiologic Ideas [ESP53]

Course highlights

EC points




Course days

Monday to Friday (5 mornings)


Prof. Alfredo Morabia

Course fee

€ 740


Erasmus MC, Rotterdam NL


Intermediate Advanced


Understanding of epidemiologic methods helps, but the course does not cover statistics.


  • Epidemiology

Course Materials

Online, download instructions will be sent in August by e-mail.
A laptop is required.

Recommended books:

1) A History of Epidemiologic Methods and Concepts

• ISBN-10: 3764368187

• ISBN-13: 978-3764368180

2) Santé : distinguer croyances et connaissance,é-distinguer-connaissance-Alfredo-Morabia/dp/2738126286

• ISBN-10: 2738126286

• ISBN-13: 978-2738126283

Required textbook: A Morabia. Enigmas of Health and Disease. Columbia University Press, 2014,

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Itai Magodoro


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Detailed information about this course:


Faculty: Prof. Alfredo Morabia, MD PhD

This is a methodology course, which focuses on the historical evolution of methods (e.g., study designs) and concepts (e.g., confounding, bias, interaction and causal inference) that constitute today’s epidemiology. For each topic, we review and discuss the historical contexts and some landmark studies that led to specific innovations in terms of performance of group comparisons, population thinking and framing of hypotheses. We finally discuss the historical conditions for the emergence of epidemiology as a scientific discipline, the phases it went through and its potential, future developments.


To understand how epidemiologic methods have evolved across times and why they will continue to evolve.

Participant profile

Having an interest in epidemiologic methods and/or in history. Traditionally, students in a doctoral epidemiology program benefit the most from the course.