1.6. Questioning the Questions with Maria Glymour

Why is it so important to ask good study questions? Why is it so hard to develop good study questions? Do all study questions need to be directly relevant for public health policy?  In this episode of SERious Epidemiology, we talk with Dr. Maria Glymour about what it means to ask a good study question and how we can get better at asking questions that will make a meaningful contribution to public health.

After listening to this podcast, if you’re interested in learning more about some of the topics we discussed, here are links for you to check out:

  1. David U. Himmelstein, Robert M. Lawless, Deborah Thorne, Pamela Foohey, and Steffie Woolhandler, 2019. Medical Bankruptcy: Still Common Despite the Affordable Care Act American Journal of Public Health 109, 431_433.


  1. Hernán MA, Alonso A, Logan R, et al. Observational studies analyzed like randomized experiments: an application to postmenopausal hormone therapy and coronary heart disease. Epidemiology. 2008;19(6):766-779.


  1. Maria Glymour and Rita Hamad, 2018. Causal Thinking as a Critical Tool for Eliminating Social Inequalities in Health. American Journal of Public Health 108, 623_623.


  1. Harper S, Strumpf EC. Social epidemiology: questionable answers and answerable questions. Epidemiology. 2012 Nov;23(6):795-8.

doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e31826d078d.

  1. Sandro Galea, An Argument for a Consequentialist Epidemiology, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 178, Issue 8, 15 October 2013, Pages 1185–1191,