Join Dr. Ana Diez-Roux, for SERforum Live!
May 1, 12pm EST


Do you ever find yourself struggling to figure out a question about epidemiologic methods, or other topics in epidemiology, and don’t know who to ask? The SERforum allows for individuals to answer questions that come up in our daily work around substantive and methodological topics in epidemiology.
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SERforum - Live with Dr. Martha Werler

Hi Martha, thanks for doing this!

Re: your question, I think one important aspect of diversity to me is the presence of epidemiologists from different sectors including academia, government, research institute, and pharma field. Other important aspects include but not limited to country, region, gender, and race/ethnicity.

Re: your request, I hope to see more diverse symposia covering not only our always heated sessions on methods, social epi, and other subject-specific epi,  but also clinical epidemiology and translation research.

Question to you, how SER is trying to increase D&I?

Charles - thanks for your thoughts.  As a dept chair, I know this is a priority for you and for me and one that we deal with daily.  We can't change the world overnight but it is so powerful to have diverse student bodies and watch them shape our field.

Yeyi, SER can actively solicit abstract submissions or symposia topics on topics deemed interesting, important, and under-represented.  We know that methods-type presentations are really popular and we want to continue to have SER be a forum for novel methods and applications. At the same time, epidemiology covers such a wide range of population health topics, we want to be proactive in ensuring diversity of topics.  We plan on instituting special calls for submissions in the future (for the 2020 meeting) to make sure we get more diverse topics submitted for presentations.  I'd be happy to help SPC find reps from various employment sectors - they have a lot to offer.


Increasing diversity of membership can be paired with diversity of trainees.  PhD and Masters students have lots of travel scholarships available for SER (of course more would be great!) but perhaps we should make it a priority to encourage diversity students to apply.

Thank you for hosting a discussion on this important topic. As a regular attendee of the annual meeting, I feel that epidemiologists doing academic research are very well represented, but epidemiologists working in public health departments / doing disease surveillance  are less well represented.  I think this is to our detriment -- it is difficult for diseases that are emerging in the real world (i.e. HIV, opioid epidemic) to be captured / measured by academic researchers in real time, but public health departments excel in this area.  How can SER better integrate epidemiologists working in disease surveillance at the annual meeting?  Such epidemiologists are unlikely to be interested in the latest methodological developments in, for example, IPWs.

SER Vistis - soon to be rolled out with financial backing from one of our esteemed SPHs (not sure if it's public yet) - is a fantastic program that brings senior epi members to smaller, less engaged institutions and then sponsors their students to attend SER.  If you have ideas of schools/programs that could benefit from a visit - let us know!


Health departments, CDC, and WHO would be great targets to expand representation on surveillance epi.   We could do much more outreach to those institutions.  Any ideas of what such outreach might look like?


Martha,  a lot of ideas are being thrown out there. From the perspective of SER, what are its priorities in terms of diversity and inclusion?

BTW, SER's Diversity and Inclusion group has members who rotate off each three years.  If you would be interested in participating, let us know!


This is the KEY question!  I have my ideas, but I feel strongly that the priorities should come from the membership.  The D&I working group’s survey - administered this past year - will be a first step toward figuring that out.  At the June 2019 meeting in Minneapolis, there will by a couple of symposia on D&I – one aimed at our research topics and study population and another on membership.  I am hoping priorities and action items will arise from them.