A Public Health Controversy in 19th Century Canada

Type of resource
Authors/collaborators
Title
A Public Health Controversy in 19th Century Canada
Abstract
In April 1859, British naturalist and social activist Philip P. Carpenter visited Montreal and was shocked by the city's sanitary conditions. He published a paper using statistical arguments to call for health reforms. Six years later, Carpenter settled in Montreal and became an active promoter of the health reform cause. In the aftermath of a cholera scare in 1866, Carpenter became the driving force behind the creation of the Montreal Sanitary Association. He published further statistical analysis in 1869. Unfortunately, Carpenter did not understand some of the subtleties associated with the analysis of vital statistics. An obscure bookkeeper, Andrew A. Watt, made a scathing public attack on both Carpenter's data and its interpretation. When Watt's criticisms became understood by the general public, and Carpenter continued with statistical arguments, the latter lost credibility and was abandoned by his own association.
Publication
Statistical Science
Volume
Vol. 20
Issue
no. 2
Pages
178-192
Date
May 2005
Language
en
Citation
Bellhouse, David R., and Christian Genest. “A Public Health Controversy in 19th Century Canada.” Statistical Science Vol. 20, no. 2 (May 2005): 178–192.
Find in a library
Permalink