Monday, April 16, 2012

May 16 lecture at NYAM: Susan Reverby on VD experiments in Tuskegee and Guatemala

This US Navy had some involvement in this...

The New York Academy of Medicine's Section on the History of Medicine
and Public Health is pleased to announce that Professor Susan M. Reverby
will present this year's Lilianna Sauter Lecture. Reverby is the
Wellesley College 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.

The 2012 Lilianna Sauter Lecture: Escaping Melodramas: Historical
Thinking and the Public Health Service Studies in Tuskegee and Guatemala
May 16, 2012 , 6:00 PM, with informal reception and light refreshments
at 5:30.

The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New

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.

To register for this event, please visit:

For complete descriptions of each lecture, and to register to attend,
please visit:;
or contact:

Arlene Shaner
Acting Curator and Reference Librarian for Historical Collections New
York Academy of Medicine

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