This paper discusses how, despite the growing need for academic epidemiology to rediscover and adapt its historical skill set to emphasize knowledge translation, its existing incentive structures continue to emphasize knowledge generation. To address this issue, the authors propose a useful heuristic—the epidemiologist as Accountable Health Advocate (AHA), who enables society to judge the value of research, develops new methods to translate existing knowledge into improved health, and actively engages with policymakers and society. The authors also suggest useful changes to incentive structures, including novel funding streams (and review), alternative publication practices, and parallel frameworks for professional advancement and promotion.
Dowdy, D. W. & Pai, M. (2012). Bridging the gap between knowledge and health: The epidemiologist as accountable health advocate (“AHA!”). Epidemiology, 23(6), 914-918.