The Public Health Film Goes To War
Public health and war have long been close companions, and maybe strange bedfellows. Starting with the Crimean War, and then the first terrible round of "modern wars" -- the American Civil War, the Franco-Prussian War and World War I -- military officials and civilian leaders called on health professionals and volunteers to help mobilize and protect military forces and civilian populations. Health professionals and volunteers, in turn, viewed war as an opportunity to test and implement their theories, as an opportunity to use newly discovered knowledge and newly invented technologies -- and eagerly jumped on war bandwagons to advance their professional, scientific, political and ideological goals. Not surprisingly then, public health and military establishments have come to share a common vocabulary (campaigns, mobilizations, officers, enemies, containments, crusades, surveillance, evacuation, battles, wars, victories, tactics, strategies, logistics), a common obsession with scientific and technological innovation, and a common organizational model: the disciplined, deployable, hierarchical service; command and control.