News on emerging health threats

If you’ve tried to read a story through the news page of this website over the past few weeks, you would’ve seen that the links no longer take you through to the full text.

I’m now beginning to correct this by making the full stories available in PDF format. But the reason for the broken links? The Emerging Health Threats Forum is no more.

I heard about this soon after I’d moved on from the Forum, and it took a while longer for the website to go offline. The Emerging Health Threats Journal is now published by Co-Action Publishing; the news stories haven’t been archived anywhere as far as I know.

A start-up publication is always a risk. But some risks are worth taking. The Forum had a worthwhile mission in monitoring research to catch early signs of change in all sorts of environmental exposures – and for me, it was crucial to do this by publishing news with an element of analysis, giving the reader some perspective and the nuance necessary for the information to be truly helpful for decision making. The ‘swine flu’ pandemic was an extraordinary journey begun by looking back on any knowledge we could glean from preparedness studies, and piecing together new evidence as the event unfolded. Both news and journal articles were freely available online.

The feedback that reached my ears was overwhelmingly positive. So what went wrong? That’s difficult to know. The parent company has since launched a new publication around science issues not focused on health, and this is on a paid subscription model.