This site is being preserved as it was on 17 September 2001 as a memorial to the life and work of Eberhard Wenzel.
Website by Eberhard Wenzel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Public health watchdog embraces the web
The Lancet, Vol. 356, No. 9237, 7 October 2000

The web is a "magnificent tool" for teaching and research, enthuses Eberhard Wenzel, deputy head of the School of Public Health at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia, and longtime consultant on public health issues. Wenzel maintains several websites dedicated to various aspects of public health, including a wonderful compendium on indigenous peoples. He is also cofounder of International Public HealthWatch, a list service that "monitor[s] international and national government organisations regarding their public health action, not their public health talk".

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Setting his sites on public health

In 1996, Wenzel was "stunned" by the resources available on the nascent web--and was particularly impressed by the WWW Virtual Library (VL). Unlike commercial catalogs, the VL is run by volunteers who compile pages of links for particular areas in which they are expert. "I liked the concept that sites should not contain advertisements and that services should be offered free of charge. Independence and commitment are two key qualities which make the VL one of the best resources on the web for certain topic areas", says Wenzel.

There was no "public health" category at the time, and Wenzel "had no idea" how to set up a website. "I ended up playing around with Netscape Composer and developed websites for myself and my students. The sites were simple, but full of information and links, and the students liked them." An academic in Germany who was knowledgeable about web page authoring heard about the sites and offered to help. "He was good with HTML; I was good with content. Together, we set out to design a global public health site", recalls Wenzel. The site grew, and 6 months later, the team offered it to the VL. It was accepted as the WWW Virtual Library: Public Health site.

Eberhard Wenzel's Website
International Public HealthWatch
WWW Virtual Library Public Health
WWW Virtual Library Circumpolar Peoples

Wenzel has been maintaining this website by himself since 1997 and along the way developed the other sites. But although he spends about 2 hours daily checking for new resources and updating existing ones, "that's not sufficient to keep everything updated", he admits. His efforts to enlist the support of colleagues have not been successful so far, but Wenzel remains committed. "I do feel that these resources and services need to be 'out there', particularly at a time when international governmental and non-governmental organisations do not offer something of comparable quality", he concludes.

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