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ESI Special Topic of:
Air Pollution, Published August 2005

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Air Pollution

An INTERVIEW with Dr. Joel Schwartz

ESI Special Topics, August 2005
Citing URL - http://www.esi-topics.com/airpoll/interviews/JoelSchwartz.html

According to our Special Topics analysis of air pollution research over the past decade, the work of Joel Schwartz ranks at #1, with 93 papers cited 2,537 times to date. Four of these papers are included on our list of the 20 most-cited papers for this period as well. Dr. Schwartz’s record in the ISI Essential Science Indicators Web product includes 275 papers cited close to a total of 7,000 times to date across multiple fields, including Clinical Medicine, Environment & Ecology, Biology & Biochemistry, and Pharmacology & Toxicology. Dr. Schwartz is Professor of Environmental Epidemiology in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. In the interview below, he talks about his highly cited work.

ST:  Why, in your view, is your work highly cited?


“There has been an explosion of research on air pollution since I first started, as people discovered there were ways for them to address the question relatively inexpensively.”

I think I have been able to stay ahead of the curve in finding important questions to address, such as the different effects of different types of particles, whether people dying from air pollution would have died in a few days anyway, thresholds, etc.

ST:  What are the circumstances which led you to your work?

I was interested in research that had public health consequences, and the potential to improve public health. That lead me to focus on exposures, such as particulate air pollution and ozone, which were widespread as opposed to more localized, and on exposures that were amenable to solution (that is, we know how to control many of these emissions).

ST:  How would you describe the significance of this work for your field?

I think my work has moved environmental epidemiology (temporarily) into a focus on air pollution, especially particulate air pollution, and (less temporarily) into a focus on more sophisticated methods.

ST:  How much has this research advanced since you first started publishing on it?

There has been an explosion of research on air pollution since I first started, as people discovered there were ways for them to address the question relatively inexpensively.

ST:  Where do you see this research going 10 years from now?

I think the future is in identifying mechanisms, which will involve gene-by-environment interactions, intermediary markers of effect, and, potentially, proteomics. The other future is improved exposure, which will include less expensive personal monitors, geographic information systems to model spatio-temporal changes in exposure, etc. And finally, we will start to move from air pollution to the next big thing in environmental health.End

Joel D. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Harvard School of Public Health
Boston, MA, USA

ESI Special Topics, August 2005
Citing URL - http://www.esi-topics.com/airpoll/interviews/JoelSchwartz.html

ESI Special Topic of:
Air Pollution, Published August 2005

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