For achievements in population scienceIn the seventeenth century, the influential Londoner John Graunt developed early human statistical and census methods that later provided a framework for modern demography. He produced the first life table, giving probabilities of survival to each age.
Many consider Graunt as the first epidemiologist, since his famous book “Natural and Political Observations Made upon the Bills of Mortality” was concerned mostly with public health statistics. This book used analysis of the mortality rolls in early modern London, as the London officials attempted to create a system to warn of the onset and spread of bubonic plaque in the city. Though the system was never truly created, Graunt’s work in studying the rolls resulted in the first statistically based estimation of the population of London. John Graunt’s book led him to the Royal Society, where he presented his work and was subsequently elected a fellow with the endorsement of the King. He was later chosen as a member of the council of the Society.
John Graunt Award 2018 for Alessandro Vespignani
* Early work
Alessandro Vespignani received the John Graunt Award 2018, in recognition of his ground breaking research in the spreading of lethal infectious diseases. With his work, Vespignani contributed to health protection of people around the planet by combining two research fields: epidemiology and network science. He showed that the social network of people plays a major role in the spreading of viruses. And this forms the basis for health scientists who are building models for the prediction and prevention of the spreading of viruses such as Zika and Ebola.
* Research group
Professor Vespignani’s research activities focus on the data-driven computational modeling of epidemic and spreading phenomena and the study of biological, social and technological networks.
* About the award
Since 2016, the Radboud Institute for Health Sciences honors an outstanding scientist every two years for their extraordinary achievements in one of the population sciences.
> read more about the award