The very first article published in Journal of Evolutionary Medicine was written by editor in chief “Paul W Ewald entitled “Welcome to a New Journal—Journal of Evolutionary Medicine”.

Evolutionary principles have been increasingly applied to the health sciences over the past 30 years. The discipline that is emerging from these applications, often referred to as evolutionary medicine, has already provided a better understanding of what disease is and why it occurs, and frameworks for more effective interventions. It emphasizes that disease may result from mismatches between present and past environments, but also that humans are continually evolving in response to current environments. It clarifies when treatment of disease manifestations may be helpful or harmful and how interventions to control infectious diseases may lead to antibiotic resistance and vaccine escape. In the future, evolutionary medicine may make crucial contributions to the global control of diseases that have defied conventional efforts. It may contribute to the control of infectious diseases by identifying interventions that force pathogens to evolve toward benignity, as has occurred in response to diphtheria vaccination. More generally evolutionary medicine may help control disease by emphasizing the multifaceted nature of disease causation and by identifying the causal links that are most vulnerable to intervention. Although evolutionary medicine has already contributed to a more coherent understanding of health and disease, it also shows signs of fragmentation. There is, for example, risk of a schism between anthropological and biological research within the discipline. History suggests how unfortunate such a division would be. Where would our knowledge about prion diseases be without the study of kuru among the Fore? In the firm belief that such divisions tend to be artifacts of incomplete understanding rather than reflections of natural divisions, I will work to make this new journal a unifying instrument.

The journal welcomes articles across the spectrum of health sciences. We will address underlying principles and specific medical problems, clinical and epidemiological studies, practice and policy, theory and empirical analysis. Ultimately, I hope that this journal will eliminate the need for its existence. That will happen when evolutionary perspectives suffuse all disciplines of the health sciences. Although I tend to be optimistic, I do not expect that this goal will be reached in my lifetime, and certainly not during my tenure as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Evolutionary Medicine. With these aspirations and expectations in mind I welcome you to join us as observers and participants in this endeavor.


Media contact :

Helen J

Managing Editor

Journal of evolutionary medicine