CFP: Health, Wellness, Society

The Fourth International Conference on Health, Wellness and Society will be held at the University of British Columbia at Robson Square, Vancouver, Canada, 14-15 March 2014. This interdisciplinary conference is for scholars, teachers, and practitioners from any professional discipline who share an interest in exploring matters of concern in the fields of human health and wellness, and in particular their social interconnections and implications.

Proposals for paper presentations, poster sessions, workshops, roundtables or colloquia are invited, addressing health, wellness and society through one of the following themes:

  •  The Physiology, Kinesiology and Psychology of Wellness in its Social Context
  •  Interdisciplinary Health Sciences
  •  Public Health Policies and Practices
  •  Health Promotions and Education

The deadline for the current round of the call for papers is 16 April 2013. Please visit our website for more information on submitting your proposal, future deadlines, and registering for the conference.

Presenters have the option to submit completed papers to The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society. If you are unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations include the option to submit a video presentation, and/or submission to the one of the journals for peer review and possible publication, as well as subscriber access to The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society.


Brown: Calling All Nurse Writers

Writing in the Center for Health Media & Policy at Hunter College’s blog HealthCetera, Theresa Brown, RN, a featured writer in The New Yorker and a regular columnist in the New York Times, invites nurses in “Calling All Nurse Writers”:

Brown explains:

These nurses, and I, all write for the same reasons that physicians do: educating the public about how health care works, outlining ways to make health care better, exploring how hard it is to work in a job that often deals with death, or showing what nurses’ clinical work actually involves. By writing about nursing (or medicine) we learn about the nature of our roles as caregivers and we communicate the importance of that role to readers.

Blog readers are welcome to leave comments.

Joseph Ensign has posted this thoughtful response on this blog:

Substantive Editing

Academic Medicine‘s editor-in-chief, Steven L. Kanter, MD, interviews Albert Bradford, director of Staff Editing.


Inside Higher Ed: Scholarly Publishing

Three articles in Inside Higher Ed today came to our attention.

The controversial proposed law originating in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, the Research Works Act, which would have prohibited the government from requiring open access publication of studies funded by the federal government, lost a key supporter, Elsevier Publishing and has been withdrawn by the bill’s co-sponsors. Steven Kolowich’s “A Significant Flinch” reports on the controversy and the fate of the bill, reminding readers that Elsevier’s support, crucial for the success of the bill, evaporated after a substantial global boycott of the mega-publisher.

Felicia LeClere’s essay “Grant Review Panels as Prom Committees,” despite its snarky title, extolls what she has observed while serving on grant review committees, suggesting that review panels work fairly more often than not.

And what about the anonymous reviewers of journal article manuscripts? Brian Rathbun’s “Dear Reviewers, a Word?” speaks to them, asking them to temper their rejections.

Dowd: Giving Doctors Orders

In her column in today’s NY Times, Maureen Dowd reports on the alarmingly high rate of nosocomial infections in hospitals.

Citing the death of her brother who entered the hospital to treat pneumonia and published reports she observes:

Michael died in that I.C.U. A couple years later, I read reports about how neckties and lab coats worn by doctors and clinical workers were suspected as carriers of deadly germs. Infections kill 100,000 patients in hospitals and other clinics in the U.S. every year.

A 2004 study of New York City doctors and clinicians discovered that their ties were contagious with at least one type of infectious microbe. Four years ago, the British National Health System initiated a “bare below the elbow” dress code barring ties, lab coats, jewelry on the hands and wrists, and long fingernails.

The column, “Giving Doctors Orders,” is available on line.

Avalanche of Low-Quality Research?

Writing in the 13 June 2010 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s Commentary section, Mark Bauerlein, Mohamed Gad-el-Hak, Wayne Grody, Bill McKelvey, and Stanley W. Trimble assert “We Must Stop the Avalance of Low-Quality Research.”

Noting that “the number of ‘refereed academic/scholarly’ publications grows at a rate of 3.26 percent per year (i.e., doubles about every 20 years),” which they attribute to an increasing number of researchers conducting research and requiring publication, they question whether this is a sign of health:

. . . instead of contributing to knowledge in various disciplines, the increasing number of low-cited publications only adds to the bulk of words and numbers to be reviewed. Even if read, many articles that are not cited by anyone would seem to contain little useful information. The avalanche of ignored research has a profoundly damaging effect on the enterprise as a whole. Not only does the uncited work itself require years of field and library or laboratory research. It also requires colleagues to read it and provide feedback, as well as reviewers to evaluate it formally for publication. Then, once it is published, it joins the multitudes of other, related publications that researchers must read and evaluate for relevance to their own work. Reviewer time and energy requirements multiply by the year. The impact strikes at the heart of academe.

As remedies they propose:

  • Limit the number of papers required for hiring or tenure and promotion.
  • Make more judicious use of impact factors.
  • Publish shorter articles in journals, with expanded versions available in open access on-line repositories.

The essay is on line to subscribers of the Chronicle.

NLN: Health Care Bill Passes House

As announced today by Kathleen A. Ream, director of Government Affairs of the National League of Nursing:

After months of debate and negotiations, the House of Representatives approved the most ambitious effort ever to change the country’s health care system, with 219 Democrats and one Republican voting for the bill and 39 Democrats voting against the bill. Action will now turn to the Senate Democrats who have yet to bring their bill to the floor for debate.

Permit me a personal note. As a boy of the tender age of 7 in early fall of 1960, I sat with my parents in the front row center of the gallery of the US Senate the night that Medicare first came up for a vote. Seated directly across from us on the floor of the Senate was Richard M. Nixon, vice president of the United States and in that capacity president of the Senate. Seated directly below us was the junior senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy. Both men were candidates for the presidency.

That night, the bill that would have created Medicare went down in defeat by only a few votes. My mother’s parents, who were in declining health at the time, would be dead (my grandmother) or dying (my grandfather) by the time Medicare legislation was finally passed in 1965, their income exhausted by healthcare expenses.

It has been estimated that nearly 50,000 Americans die annually as a direct or indirect result of a lack of health insurance. If we can mobilize public support (or at least public acquiescence) for a variety of costly and unproductive endeavors, why not to save lives and improve quality of life?