Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research-logo

Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research

Science Podcasts

Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.

Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.


United States


Epidemiology Counts from the Society for Epidemiologic Research, a podcast that gives you up to date information on the state of health research straight from researchers who are deeply involved with this work.






Epidemiology Counts – Episode 25 – Racialized Policing

By nearly any metric, Black and brown Americans are disproportionately policed, arrested, convicted, and incarcerated compared to white Americans. One in 3 Black boys born in America in 2001 can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Furthermore, Black Americans are more likely to be physically injured and killed at the hands of the police—a reality that manifested in the dramatic response to the killing of George Floyd and other high profile cases, leading to Black Lives Matter protests...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 24 – “Epidemiology podcast crossover”

In honor of the Society for Epidemiologic Research 2020 Meeting, the hosts of four epidemiology podcasts came together to record the first ever “crossover event” to talk about their experiences recording our shows and what podcasting can bring to the table for the field of epidemiology. Join the hosts of Epidemiology Counts (Bryan James), SERiousEPi (Matt Fox, Hailey Banack), Casual Inference (Lucy D’Agostino McGowan), and Shiny Epi People (Lisa Bodnar) as they engage in a fun and...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 23 – “Coronavirus – Testing”

COVID-19 is surging as the United States heads into winter, with 100,000 new cases reported in a single day for the first time on the day of this podcast recording. The presence of this virus is a constant in our lives and our communities, and more and more of us have been tested for the coronavirus or are considering it. But how do you know when to get tested, which test to get, and how to interpret the results? With so much discussion of false negatives and false positives and the correct...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 22 – “Maternal Mortality”

Maternal mortality is a key indicator of population health. While the leading causes of maternal death vary from place to place, most of these deaths are preventable; accordingly, most wealthy countries have reported steady declines in mortality rates over time. However, recent reports from the US suggest that maternal mortality is on the rise, prompting an abundance of concern (and media coverage) about the quality of maternal healthcare in the US. What’s behind these numbers? Is the US...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 21 – “Climate Change”

Hurricane and fire seasons are affecting communities across the US and globally. Over 5 million acres have burned in the Western US. Smoke from these fires reached all the way to New York and Washington DC. Natural disasters are made worse by climate change, but climate change is more than just disasters. Climate change can affect our health in a range of different ways. In this episode, host Bryan James is joined by Anna Pollack to understand how climate change affects health, along with...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 20 – “Sleep”

Sleep is essential for wellbeing and overall health. We spend up to a third of our lives asleep and the general state of “sleep health” is an important question throughout our lifespan. The CDC has estimated that 1 in 3 American Adults do not achieve the recommendation of at least 7 hours of sleep each night for adults aged 18–60 years. Inadequate sleep has been associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 19 – “Cell Phones”

Cell phones outnumber people globally and they have become an important conduit through which we interact with our world, both personally and professionally. Day or night, it’s rare that our cell phone is not by our side, and yet it’s likely that you’ve been told to do precisely the opposite, due to concerns that cell phones might increase your risk of developing cancer. These concerns are partly grounded in the decisions of health authorities, including the classification of the...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 18 – “Coronavirus Q&A”

Our infectious disease epidemiology experts, Justin Lessler from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Michael Mina from the Harvard School of Public Heath, are back for a special Q&A episode of the podcast! Host Bryan James relays a compilation of your fantastic questions to the experts leading to a very insightful conversation on how to navigate the “new normal” of life during the time of COVID-19 as the lockdowns end and the US begins to reopen. We address questions related...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 17 – “Coronavirus – Reopening the US”

Drs. Justin Lessler from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Michael Mina from the Harvard School of Public Heath are back for a fourth episode to discuss the coronavirus pandemic with host Bryan James. Between our first podcast in early February 2020 and this recording, the pandemic has grown from 11 cases of COVID-19 in the US to over 1.3 million known cases and 84 thousand deaths in the US. After 2 months of shelter-in-place lockdown measures throughout most of the...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 16 – “Depression and Anxiety”

Depression and anxiety disorders remain among the most common and destabilizing health conditions worldwide. As the COVID-19 epidemic progresses, mental health has emerged as a principal concern, given the increase in social isolation, trauma exposure, and grief and bereavement, among other exposures. Today, Bryan James hosts a discussion with we talk with Katheleen Merikangas, Senior Investigator and Chief of the Genetic Epidemiology Research Branch in the Intramural Research Program at the...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 15 – “Coronavirus (Update)”

The coronavirus outbreak is now a global pandemic and the US is ground zero for the COVID-19 crisis. Drs. Justin Lessler from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Michael Mina from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Heath are back to discuss the latest developments with host Bryan James. They address whether social distancing is helping to “flatten the curve” and why we have turned to more drastic measures such as work-from-home orders and school closings to really drop...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 14 – “Infertility”

Infertility is increasingly common, and it is likely you know someone who has experienced infertility or may have experienced this yourself. Given that this is a very stressful time for couples and that treatments can be very expensive, couples often try everything they can to improve their fertility. There is a lot of advice out there for what you should and should not be doing to improve fertility. But what does the actual science say? What are the things proven to help couples get...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 13 – “Coronavirus (Follow-up)”

Twenty days after releasing episode 12 "Coronavirus", host Bryan James follows up with two experts in infectious disease epidemiology, Dr. Justin Lessler, Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and Dr. Michael Mina, Assistant professor of Epidemiology and Immunology at Harvard School of Public Heath, and a physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The following links are resources referenced by Dr. Lessler and Dr. Mina on the episode: Centers for Disease...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 12 – “Coronavirus”

The novel coronavirus outbreak originating in Wuhan, China has sickened tens of thousands of people and the number of cases is growing as of this recording. The World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency and countries around the world have enacted travel restrictions and public health measures to contain the outbreak. The situation is changing rapidly and the public is understandably concerned. We recorded this podcast to provide the most timely information on what is...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 11 “Screentime”

Screen time has been blamed for health issues ranging from sleep disturbances, to depression, and obesity. But how much do we actually know about how media use affects health? Are some people more at risk than others? What role does the content of what we watch play in these health outcomes? Can screen time be beneficial? In this episode, host Bryan James is joined by Anna Pollack to explore this topic, along with media time expert Dr. Jenny Radesky, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 10 “Exercise”

As the new year approaches, many people (epidemiologists included!) will resolve to begin exercising more. Making a renewed commitment to exercise is among the most common New Year’s resolutions. Although almost everyone knows they should be exercising, there is a lot of confusion about how much exercise we really need to stay healthy. Does the amount or type of exercise you need depend on whether you’re exercising to lose weight or exercising to stay healthy? Should you be adding a fitness...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 9 “Opioids”

We are in the midst of an opioid overdose epidemic. More American lives have been lost to drug overdoses than were lost either at the height of the AIDS epidemic, or during the Vietnam war. There has been a lot of recent debate about what has caused this epidemic, and to what extent is the pharmaceutical industry at the root of this problem. Yet a lot of questions remain about this issue. Why do we say we are in the midst of an epidemic, and how has this epidemic evolved? How has the opioid...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 8 “Gun Violence”

Gun violence is endemic in the United States. It’s become a politically polarized topic and the discourse, which tends to focus on mass shootings, is replete with misinformation. Key questions underlying this debate are inherently epidemiological and population research can help separate fact from fiction. For example, what does the data tell us about trends in gun ownership and gun violence in the United States? To what extent are gun deaths attributable to mass shootings and murders versus...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 7 “Vaping”

While cigarette smoking has declined in the US, vaping has increased dramatically—especially among younger Americans. While vaping may be less harmful to human health than combustible tobacco products like cigarettes, it still contains highly addictive nicotine and other potentially harmful but not well-understood chemicals. And yet many of us don’t really know exactly what vaping is and how it differs from cigarette smoking. Should vaping be seen as a less harmful alternative to cigarettes...


Epidemiology Counts – Episode 6 “Influenza”

Did you get your flu shot? Employers and other institutions that have a stake in our health, wellbeing and productivity have decided the flu shot is a worthwhile investment. However, many people seem ambivalent about the flu shot. What is behind these different perspectives? In the 6th episode, Matt Fox and Jennifer Ahern interview Dr. Arthur Reingold on the topic of influenza and the flu vaccine. In this episode we uncover some of the details behind the flu as a disease, its transmission,...