Anchorage, Alaska will host the 20th World Congress of Epidemiology (WCE2014) of the International Epidemiological Association (IEA) during August 17-21, 2014. Formerly known as the International Scientific Meeting of the IEA, the WCE is the main scientific conference hosted by the IEA. These triennial meetings represent the largest gathering of epidemiologists from around the world and have provided an opportunity for researchers, teachers, and other practitioners of epidemiology and public health to have a frank discussion about new directions and issues related to the profession. The IEA WCEs have consistently attracted 1200-1500 delegates from all over the world. Since the last three meetings were held outside North America, and the US in particular (2005 in Thailand, 2008 in Brazil, and 2011 in Scotland), there is great expectation that attendance will increase in Anchorage given the location and the low cost of travel for American and Canadian delegates and students. Anchorage is Alaska's most ethnically diverse city with 94 different languages heard on the city streets. It is a nine-hour flght from 90 percent of the industrialized world and only a three-hour flight from Seattle. Over 5 million passengers travel to Ted Stevens International Airport annually. Most participants will come from the US, Canada, Europe, Japan, and Brazil. However, about one-third of the delegates are expected to come from developing countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. The main theme of the Congress, "Global Epidemiology in a Changing Environment: The Circumpolar Perspective," is at the forefront of the concerns of state and federal public health agencies in the US and internationally. There will be five plenary sessions with distinguished speakers who will present on the major trends and issues for the profession: Circumpolar Health;Climate Change and Health;Health Disparities, Ethics of Human Rights, and Social Justice;Innovations in Epidemiologic Methods;and Hot Topics in Epidemiology. In addition to many workshops and oral and poster presentations, there will also be symposia on Infectious Disease, Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, mental health and civil conflicts, gun violence and violence prevention, vaccine development and implementation, and eradication of polio.
Regarded as one of the most significant health care events worldwide, the 20th IEA World Congress of Epidemiology will draw together leading scientists, teachers, public health practitioners, policy analysts, government agency representatives, and community leaders from around the world. It is the application of epidemiology that provides the knowledge to assess, develop policy, and implement programs and services to improve public health.