Emory Report
October 6, 2008
Volume 61, Number 7



Emory Report homepage  

October 6, 2008

Map data guides health intervention
Maps have played a vital role in epidemiology since physician John Snow pinpointed cholera cases in Victorian London to trace the source of an outbreak to a single water pump. In his Life of the Mind lecture, Lance Waller touched on the history of maps in medicine, and described how modern technology is driving the ability to link data spatially, numerically and analytically.

A professor of biostatistics in Rollins School of Public Health, Waller showed how he uses spatial analysis on everything from “miles of beach to millimeters of skin,” to mine data for ecology and health. “We’re finding patterns and trying to describe patterns – either mathematical descriptions of them, or in a geographical way,” he said. “And we’re looking for the process driving the patterns.” — Carol Clark

Look to Darwin for survival
“Darwin said it is the one most adaptable to change that survives,” Pauline Yu, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, said in her Luminaries in the Arts and Humanities lecture.

Yu juxtaposed the father of the theory of evolution and today’s forces that affect learned societies — digital communication, internationalism, erosion of the full-time tenure track, desire to reduce the carbon footprint and even air fare and other costs.

We have to decide “what it is we want to conserve in the coming transformation — the values we want to preserve.”

“Those communities that survive will adapt and be transformed,” she said. — Leslie King

Learning with good heart urged
“Joyous perseverance,” is the way to learn, said Kyabje Denma Locho Rinpoche, speaking at the Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning.

Tibet’s foremost master of Tantric yoga and a monk tapped by the Dalai Lama for a number of important positions, he emphasized two main points about education: scholarship and kindheartedness.

“It is extremely important to cultivate a thorough understanding of broad areas of knowledge,” he said through an interpreter, elaborating on making a diligent effort and cultivating the attention span.

“Mere knowledge will not guarantee a good life. What ensures this is our good heart.”

He added: “It is important for students not to miss the good heart when pursuing education. If you truly care for others, that is the great fulfillment.”— Leslie King