Emerging Infectious Diseases 20-year Timeline, Art in Science
“We were so proud [of the journal],” says Polyxeni Potter, retired founding managing editor of EID. We met with the director of printing services, who listened to us patiently; then, with a dramatic gesture, took our sample issue and threw it in the wastebasket. I knew then that we had to do better with the cover of the journal—make it more attractive and interesting so that readers would recognize it and pick it up.”
Potter successfully advocated for an illustrated color cover. So in 1997, the first issue of EID with its now signature color cover was printed. In addition to the timely, peer-reviewed scientific content of the journal, most observers would agree that the vivid, artistic covers of EID have helped distinguish it from other scientific journals.
Shortly before Potter retired in December 2013, Art in Science; Selections from Emerging Infectious Diseases, her collection of essays linking the art on the covers of EID with the science theme featured in each issue, was published, providing an exclamation point to her career.
Highlighting EID’s long success with art covers were two exhibitions at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum.
A Journal for Our Times: Emerging Infectious Diseases®, June 26 – September 27, 2006, and Art in Science: Selections from Emerging Infectious Diseases®, May 14 – September 9, 2014.
Louise Shaw, curator of the museum says,
“Emerging Infectious Diseases pioneered peer-reviewed journal publishing at CDC, and is one of the first publications to link cover art with science content. The David J. Sencer CDC Museum celebrated the accomplishments of this remarkable journal with two exhibitions: the first installment in 2006 showcased a complete set of covers and selected enlargements commencing with its first publication in 1995. The second installment in 2014 picked up from 2006, and coincided with the Oxford University Press publication of Art in Science: Selections from Emerging Infectious Diseases®.
Now a hallmark of the journal, cover art emphasizes interdisciplinary content and global reach. Complementing the science, the art--drawn from all art history--has brought attention to intersections between people, animals, and the environment, at the root of disease emergence, prevention, and control.”