Despite being retired since 2013, I remained professionally active, in a volunteer capacity, for the succeeding eight years. The year 2021 has seen the completion of several long-term writing projects as my parting contribution to my profession. The time has now come, while on the crest of a wave of success, to withdraw and hand over the reins of leadership in my field of focus to others who may see it worthy enough to build upon. For now, my career is on hold.
Rationale: The words appearing in an August 2021 obituary to honor the life of a well-known former CDC epidemiologist, Robert “Bob” Rinsky, resonate strongly with me; upon fully retiring, he is remembered saying: “I have been working hard for a long time, and the parts of my life that mercifully have been patiently waiting are now going to get their due.” This is the path that I now will follow. I will, however, remain available to advise and provide institutional memory where I can and if called upon to do so.
The climax of my 2021 wave of successes was my being honored by the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) with its 2021 Research Integrity Award. I am grateful to be leaving my decades-long professional roles on this high note of peer recognition. This would not have come to pass had it not been for people who encouraged and strongly supported me along the way. I therefore share this award with esteemed colleagues, some no longer with us, who themselves demonstrated integrity and who were especially supportive of my initiatives, including their collaboration in expanding the conversation about professional ethics. The best I could wish for is that my body of work will endure, serving as a foundational legacy in support of public health.