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John Snow (1813—1858) anaesthetist and epidemiologist


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black box epidemiology

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The use of observational epidemiological methods and inference to arrive at conclusions about cause-effect relations between risk factors and disease outcomes without necessarily understanding or attempting to explain detailed causal mechanisms or the pathogenesis of the specific disease that is being studied. The investigation of cholera in London in the 1850s by John Snow was an early example of black box epidemiology.

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