Please Join Us on December 3rd

Please join us for a scintillating lecture…

Susan M. Reverby, PhD, presents “Escaping Melodrama: The US STD Experiments in Guatemala and the Difficulties for an Historian.” Reverby, the Marion Butler McLean Professor at Wellesley College, is the medical historian who uncovered the history of NIH sponsored experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s, in which hundreds of Guatemalans were deliberately infected with venereal diseases in order to test the effectiveness of penicillin.

When: Monday, December 3rd, 2012
Time: 4:00-5:00 pm.
Where: Room/Auditorium 1335 in the Health Sciences Learning Center
750 Highland Ave. Madison

The U.S. government has now apologized for Public Health Service studies in both Tuskegee (1932-72) and Guatemala (1946-48). This talk will argue that much of the literature on these studies treats them as object lessons on what not to do, casting the doctors as monsters, and turning the studies into historical relics attributable to “racists” from a distant time and place. Professor Reverby will investigate how we can think of racism, scientific certainty and ethical malfeasance outside a melodramatic framework, if this is even possible.

Susan M. Reverby is Professor of Women’s Studies at Wellesley College and a historian of American women, medicine and nursing. She is the editor of numerous volumes on women’s history, the history of medicine and the history of nursing. Her prize-winning book, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987), is still considered one of the major overview histories of American nursing. She is a former health policy analyst and women’s health activist. From 1993-1997 she served as the consumer representative on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Advisory Panel.

Sponsored by UW’s Department of Medical History and Bioethics, Holtz Center, History of Science, and Latin America,Caribbean and Iberian Studies.