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We follow this list with great interest. Being the lead authors of an "oft
cited Nature paper" recently discussed here, we feel hit by some of the
critique raised, and wish to supplement the following.
We are aware of the problematic assumption of infinite populations. And we
would definitely not claim anything in the line that there are no epidemic
thresholds, and that there can be no effective interventions for sexually
transmitted diseases. Nor in that paper, nor anywhere else. (At least one
of us would loose his job on the spot if we did :-)
We still believe that the degree distribution we reported has practical
implications. Of course, we welcome refined methods and approaches to the
study of social networks, including degree distributions.
Decreasing the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is an utterly
important societal task. We would be the last to deny that many of the
people on this list take the lead in this struggle. We have a forthcoming
review article on this (the *uncorrected* proof available at Microbes and
Christofer Edling and Fredrik Liljeros
Sociology Department, Stockholm University
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