OBOC 2011-12


The Ghost Map

About the Book

It's the summer of 1854, and London is seized by a violent outbreak of cholera that no one knows how to stop. As the epidemic spreads, a maverick physician and a local curate are spurred to action, working to solve the most pressing medical riddle of their time. In a triumph of multidisciplinary thinking, Johnson illuminates the intertwined histories of the spread of disease, the rise of cities, and the nature of scientific inquiry, offering both a thrilling account of the most intense cholera outbreak to strike Victorian London and a powerful explanation of how it has shaped the world we live in.

OBOC Bulletin Board

This was the first year for a bulletin board display. The photo to the right is of the first display, a timeline of events as they unfolded during the 1854 cholera outbreak. Displays changed every four to six weeks throughout the academic year.
bulletin board


The marquee event of the One Book, One Community program this year included the Pittsburgh premier of Snow with writer/director Isaac Ergas and a panel discussion on the Role of Film in Public Health, held on March 22, 2012 in the Frick Fine Arts Auditorium.

Snow is a short, live-action film based on the true story of Dr. John Snow, the father of epidemiology. The panel discussion included:
  • Isaac Ergas: Writer/director and public health professional
  • Carl Kurlander: Writer/producer, University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Program and Steeltown Entertainment Project
  • Bernard Goldstein: Professor emeritus, Pitt Public Health Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Adam Lowenstein: Associate professor, University of Pittsburgh Film Studies Program
  • Jeremy Martinson: Assistant professor, Pitt Public Health Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
A reception immediately followed the event in the Frick Fine Arts Cloister.

Other 2011-12 OBOC Events
Global Health Film Series Film: Foul Water Fiery Serpent
February 7

Encore viewing of FLOW
February 20

The Worldwide Fusarium Keratitis Epidemic of 2004-06: What would Dr. John Snow and the Rev. John Whitehead have done? 
February 23

Viewing of movie FLOW
October 17



Interactive health statistic map on current cholera outbreaks

John Snow

Goldstein, B. (2012). John Snow, the Broad Street pump and the precautionary principle, Environmental Development 1(1), 3-9.
UCLA Department of Epidemiology Web site on John Snow

Victorian London

Journal article: Hardy, A. (1991). Parish Pump to Private Pipes: London’s Water Supply in the Nineteenth Century. Medical History, 11, 76-93.
The Victorian Social History: An Overview
The Victorian Environment: An Overview
Nineteenth Century British Medicine and Public Health