Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture

The Langmuir Lecture is the preeminent public health lecture in the United States. First given in 1972, this lecture continues to be a highlight of the annual EIS Conference. The lecture is named for Alexander D. Langmuir, MD, MPH (1910–1993), a public health visionary and leader who established the Epidemiology Program at what was then called the Communicable Disease Center in 1949; he remained as CDC’s chief epidemiologist until his retirement in 1970. Notably, Dr. Langmuir founded EIS, established national disease surveillance for the United States, and led the development of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report at CDC. Learn more about Dr. Langmuir and Epidemiology at CDC.

2022 Alexander D. Langmuir Lecturer: Mary Bassett
Doctor Mary Bassett

New York State Commissioner of Health, Mary Bassett, MD, MPH, delivered the 2022 Alexander D. Langmuir Lecture, Undoing the Racial Patterning of Health, on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. In her talk, Dr. Bassett discussed the history of public health and some of the many connections between racism and health trends in the United States. She touched on the unequal burden of the COVID-19 pandemic among certain racial and ethnic minority groups, especially in Black communities. Throughout her more than 30 years working in public health and healthcare, she has spoken widely about the adverse effects of structural racism on the overall health of our population.

Langmuir Lecture Archives

Dr. William Foege

During the EIS 70th Anniversary virtual webinar, Former CDC Director William H. Foege, MD, MPH chronicled the history and function of the EIS program while speaking about his work as an EIS officer in Colorado from 1962-1964. Dr. Foege also discussed his experiences as chief of the Smallpox Eradication Program in the 1960’s in West and Central Africa, underscoring the importance of the EIS program and how EIS officers were instrumental in successfully eradicating an infectious disease for the first time in human history. He also highlighted EIS program’s invaluable role in response efforts amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the crucial need for preparedness against future pandemics.