Miasmas and (spatial) mental models

Today’s class is focused on taking the ideas from The Ghost Map into the present.

Before Class


We will read one paper that gets into direct lessons from the Broad Street Outbreak (Greenhalgh 2021), and a short opinion piece discussing the relationship between social disparities and spatial analysis (Chowkwanyun and Reed 2020). (Both are open-access and should be downloadable directly from the journal site.)

During Class

We will finish our exploration of the concept of smoothing with a hands-on tutorial of hotspot detection using kernel density estimation in two dimensions.



Chowkwanyun, Merlin, and Adolph L. Reed. 2020. “Racial Health Disparities and Covid-19 Caution and Context.” New England Journal of Medicine 383 (3): 201–3. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp2012910.
Greenhalgh, Trisha. 2021. “Miasmas, Mental Models and Preventive Public Health: Some Philosophical Reflections on Science in the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Interface Focus 11 (6): 20210017. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsfs.2021.0017.