Health of People,  Places and Planet

Health of People, Places and Planet

Reflections based on Tony McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding

Edited by: Colin D. Butler orcid, Jane Dixon orcid, Anthony G. Capon orcid

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This book has three main goals. The first is to celebrate the work of a great public health figure, the late A.J. (Tony) McMichael (1942–2014). The second is to position contemporary public health issues in an interdisciplinary context and in ways that highlight the interdependency between the environment, human institutions and behaviours; a broad approach championed by Tony. The third is to encourage emerging and future public health leaders to advocate for policies and cultural change to sustain and improve human health, from a foundation of objective scholarship.

The book’s foreword and 38 chapters were written by people who were inspired by Tony; many of whom worked with him at some point in the last 40 years. Its structure reflects five major public health domains, each of which Tony made major contributions to in an extremely productive academic life: occupational health and safety; environmental and social epidemiology; nutrition and food systems; climate change and health; and ecosystem change and infectious disease. The final section, ‘Transformation’, is dedicated to Tony’s desire for public health scientists to propose adaptive and mitigating solutions to the problems they were observing.

Each section contains at least one key publication involving Tony. There is also a selection of artworks from an exhibition which formed part of the conference held to honour Tony at The Australian National University in 2012. This conference formed the first part of Tony’s festschrift, completed by this book.


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
Jul 2015
ANU Press
Science: Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences; Social Sciences: Sociology

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Health of People, Places and Planet »

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Part 1: Introduction

Reprint A: Preface to ‘Planetary Overload: Global Environmental Change and the Health of the Human Species’ (PDF, 432KB)

  1. From Silent Spring to the Threat of a Four-Degree World (PDF, 280KB) – Colin D. Butler and Alistair Woodward doi
  2. A Long Collaboration (PDF, 150KB) – Basil S. Hetzel doi
  3. Much Said, Much to be Done (PDF, 561KB) – John Reid, Anthony G. Capon and Jane Dixon doi

Reprint B: Prisoners of the Proximate: Loosening the Constraints on Epidemiology in an Age of Change (PDF, 4.2MB) – Anthony J. McMichael

Part 2: Healthy Workers

Reprint C: Standardized Mortality Ratios and the ‘Healthy Worker Effect’: Scratching Beneath the Surface (PDF, 4.0MB) – Anthony J. McMichael

  1. Occupational Stress (PDF, 151KB) – Su Mon Kyaw-Myint and Lyndall Strazdins doi
  2. A Public Health Approach to Environmental and Occupational Health Problems in Developing Countries (PDF, 162KB) – Hülya Gül and Zahide Ceren Atli doi
  3. Tales of Occupational Cancer (PDF, 185KB) – Devra Davis and Colin D. Butler doi

Part 3: Environmental and Social Epidemiology

Reprint D: Port Pirie Cohort Study: Environmental Exposure to Lead and Children’s Abilities at the Age of Four Years (PDF, 727KB)Anthony J. McMichael, P.A. Baghurst, N. Wigg, G. Vimpani, E. Robertson and R. Roberts

  1. Environmental Lead Exposure and Childhood Development (PDF, 219KB) – Shilu Tong doi
  2. Shining Light on Human Immunity (PDF, 150KB) – Robyn Lucas, Ashwin Swaminathan and Keith Dear doi
  3. Studying the Thai Health‑Risk Transition (PDF, 446KB) – Adrian Sleigh and Sam-ang Seubsman doi
  4. Climate Change and Environmental Influences on Australia’s Population Distribution (PDF, 317KB) – Graeme Hugo and Janet Wall doi
  5. Globalisation and the Epigenetic Landscape (PDF, 349KB) – Paolo Vineis doi
  6. Uses and Misuses of Epidemiology (PDF, 169KB) – Alistair Woodward doi

Part 4: Nutrition and Food Systems

Reprint E: Diet and Cancer of the Colon and Rectum: A Case-Control Study (PDF, 1.0MB) – John D. Potter and Anthony J. McMichael

  1. Monocultures: A Blight on Human and Planetary Health (PDF, 255KB) – John D. Potter doi
  2. Global Food Security, Population and Limits to Growth (PDF, 331KB) – Colin D. Butler doi

Reprint F: Social and Cultural Perspectives (PDF, 7.2MB) – Basil Hetzel and Anthony J. McMichael

  1. Eco-nutrition, Ecosystems and Health (PDF, 151KB) – Mark L. Wahlqvist doi
  2. Revisiting the ‘Urban Bias’ and its Relationship to Food Security (PDF, 158KB) – Jane Dixon and Philip McMichael doi

Part 5: Climate Change and Health

Reprint G: Global Warming, Ecological Disruption and Human Health: The Penny Drops (PDF, 2.4MB) – Anthony J. McMichael

  1. Fragile Paradise (PDF, 175KB) – Lachlan McIver and Elizabeth Hanna doi
  2. From Social Reform to Social Transformation (PDF, 355KB) – Hilary Bambrick and Stefano Moncada doi
  3. Climate Change, Health and Well-being in Indigenous Australia (PDF, 254KB) – Donna Green and Leanne Webb doi
  4. The Sociocultural Context of Climate Change Adaptation in Australia, with a Focus on Hot Weather (PDF, 169KB)Cathy Banwell, Jane Dixon, Hilary Bambrick, Ferne Edwards and Tord Kjellstrom doi
  5. Archived Newspaper Reports as a Complementary Source of Epidemiological Data for Research into Climate Change Adaptation (PDF, 223KB) – Colin L. Soskolne, Justine D. A. Klaver-Kibria, Karen M. McDonald, Donald W. Spady, J. Peter Rothe, Karen Smoyer Tomic, Kaila-Lea Clarke and Gian S. Jhangri doi
  6. Health Co-benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Policies (PDF, 165KB) – Andy Haines doi
  7. From Grass Roots to Government (PDF, 122KB) – Kathryn Bowen doi

Part 6: Ecosystem Change, Infectious Diseases and Well-being

Reprint H: Social and Environmental Risk Factors in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases (PDF, 853KB) – Robin A. Weiss and Anthony J. McMichael

  1. Climate Change, Ross River Virus and Biodiversity (PDF, 171KB) – Philip Weinstein and Peng Bi doi
  2. Detection and Attribution of Climate Change Effects on Infectious Diseases (PDF, 182KB) – Melanie Bannister-Tyrrell, David Harley and Tony McMichael doi
  3. Patterns of Ecological Change and Emerging Infectious Disease in the Australasian Region (PDF, 165KB) – Ro McFarlane doi
  4. Biodiversity Keeps People Healthy (PDF, 222KB) – Pim Martens and Carijn Beumer doi
  5. A Case Study of Urban Trees, Public Health and Social Equity (PDF, 568KB) – Michael Bentley doi
  6. Reflections on the Virulence of Infections (PDF, 392KB)  – Robin A. Weiss doi

Part 7: Transformation

Reprint I: The Sustainability Transition: A New Challenge (PDF, 135KB) – Anthony J. McMichael, Kirk R. Smith and Carlos F. Corvalán

  1. Managing Decline (PDF, 134KB) – Trevor Hancock doi
  2. Elemental Epidemiology (PDF, 147KB) – Martin McKee doi
  3. Freeing Policy from the Proximate (PDF, 190KB) – Devin C. Bowles doi
  4. You’ve Got to be Careful if You Don’t Know Where You’re Going Because You Might Not Get There (Yogi Berra) (PDF, 136KB) – Kristie L. Ebi doi
  5. Climate Change, Violence, and the Afterlife (PDF, 138KB) – Kirk R. Smith doi
  6. On the Need to Transform Governance to Regulate Corporations for the Survival of Homo Sapiens (PDF, 164KB) – Peter Tait doi
  7. Human Habitat and Health (PDF, 241KB) – Anthony G. Capon doi
  8. Transforming Human Society from Anthropocentrism to Ecocentrism (PDF, 129KB) – Bob Douglas doi
  9. Ecological Public Health (PDF, 219KB) – Geof Rayner and Tim Lang doi

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