BMC Medicine was launched in November 2003 as an open access, open peer-reviewed general medical journal that has a broad remit to publish "outstanding and influential research in all areas of clinical practice, translational medicine, medical and health advances, public health, global health, policy, and general topics of interest to the biomedical and sociomedical professional communities". Here, I discuss the last 15 years of epidemiological research published by BMC Medicine, with a specific focus on how this reflects changes occurring in the field of epidemiology over this period; the impact of 'Big Data'; the reinvigoration of debates about causality; and, as we increasingly work across and with many diverse disciplines, the use of the name 'population health science'. Reviewing all publications from the first volume to the end of 2018, I show that most BMC Medicine papers are epidemiological in nature, and the majority of them are applied epidemiology, with few methodological papers. Good research must address important translational questions that should not be driven by the increasing availability of data, but should take appropriate advantage of it. Over the next 15 years it would be good to see more publications that integrate results from several different methods, each with different sources of bias, in a triangulation framework.
- Big data