The EPI-Curious Society
Category : PROspective
This PROspective is a love story about books, fascinating people and topics that matter. Have you ever had the chance to share one of your favorite activities with some of your favorite people and then have really interesting conversations on topics you are passionate about while you are doing it? For me, this beautiful spot where these collide has a new name – The EPI-Curious Society.
“I am always thrilled to find a great read and love to talk about what I have read, particularly when it moves me or changes the way I think.“
I love to read and have for as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, my mom would tell me I had to go outside to play during the summer instead of sitting in my room reading. She was truly trying to limit my reading time! So I packed my books and outside I went… to read.
“There is no doubt that sharing books together and challenging the way we think has deepened my understanding of the stories of life.”
These days, I spend a lot of time reading papers but I still carve out time for books and have become quite enamored with audio books I can listen to in my car or while cooking. I am always thrilled to find a great read and love to talk about what I have read, particularly when it moves me or changes the way I think. Some of my closest friends are my six book club buddies. We have been together reading, debating, traveling and supporting each other in life for 20 years. There is no doubt that sharing books together and challenging the way we think has deepened my understanding of the stories of life.
“Our students are passionate, good humans who are engaged and interested.”
Next we add in our Emory Epidemiology students. Wow. I really am inspired by them and the way they think, their experiences, and the questions they ask. Our students are passionate, good humans who are engaged and interested. It’s a gift to know them and I was truly getting a bit blue thinking of them moving on and out of EPI530. We had spent a semester talking about the vaping crisis or the latest NPR story all while learning and growing in knowledge about epidemiology and I was not ready to have our conversations end.
So here comes the leap. Would you be willing to give up your lunch time to join me to talk about books? The response was exciting and two wonderful student leaders came forward to help set this up. Being researchers, we quickly surveyed for interest, best day of the week, book suggestions, and a name for our new book club. With the blend of a couple name suggestions, The EPI-Curious Society was born, a book was picked, and the date was set for our first meeting.
“Learning from our past and talking about our different perspectives is fundamental to doing good work.“
Our first book, ‘The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ by Rebecca Skloot has led to a fascinating discussion about research ethics,racial inequities, the individual people affected by research, and the strides made for public health. Learning from our past and talking about our different perspectives is fundamental to doing good work.
The EPI-Curious Society now gets top billing as one of my favorite things.
What do you get when you spend lunch discussing the ethics of human subjects research, social inequities & medical advancements with a dedicated group of @EmoryEPI superstars? The #Epicurioussociety bookclub! What a treat to be reunited with these students. ?#readingforfun pic.twitter.com/cP4XofBAgr— Jodie L. Guest (@Jlguest) January 22, 2020
If you are a current EPI student and would like to join the EPI-Curious Society, please email sarah [dot] johnson2 [at] emory [dot] edu to be added to our listserv for information about meetings and books.
To build your list of interesting books, several faculty in the Department of Epidemiology have also created a list of their top reads from the past year, which are presented below:
What were your favorite books of 2019? Tell us in the comments below!
Didn’t see something here that caught your eye? Browse some of our favorite book lists from the last year: