What does it mean for an epidemic to end, and who gets to declare that it is over? This multidisciplinary spotlight issue provides 18 case studies, each examining specific epidemics and their ends as well as the methodologies used to measure, gauge, and define an epidemic's end. They demonstrate that an epidemic's end is often contentious, raising issues of competing authority. Various forms of expertise jostle over who declares an end, as well as what data and information should be used to measure and define the end of an epidemic. As a result, it is more accurate to describe multiple endings to an epidemic: the medical end, the political end, and the social end. At the same time, multidisciplinary research into the ends of epidemics highlights the crucial role of information and measurement in an epidemic's end, as well as the ways in which ending forces observers to rethink and reconceptualize time.
Centaurus. Journal of the European Society for the History of Science, Volume 64 (2022), Issue 1. Spotlight Issue: How Epidemics End, edited by Erica Charters. 311 p., 13 colour ill., 178 x 254 mm, 2022
ISBN: 978-2-503-59852-9 Print ISSN: 0008-8994 Online ISSN: 1600-0498