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History and Ethics

Without a historical frame, our understanding of public health interventions will always be diminished. Ethical considerations—and the history that informs them—guides research questions and policies.

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Faculty in History and Ethics

Amy Fairchild
Sociomedical Sciences
Alfredo Morabia
Professor of Clinical
David Rosner
Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor
Sociomedical Sciences
Ezra Susser
Epidemiology and Psychiatry
James Colgrove
Interim Chair and Professor
Sociomedical Sciences
Kavita Sivaramakrishnan
Associate Professor
Sociomedical Sciences
Sheila Rothman
Sociomedical Sciences (in the Center for the Study of Society and Medicine)
Stephen Morse
Epidemiology at the Columbia University Medical Center
Merlin Chowkwanyun
Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor
Sociomedical Sciences

News & Features

The scene is a conference room in the St. Louis headquarters of the chemical giant Monsanto, the summer of 1969. A special task force meets to discuss the company’s response to growing concerns over the health risks of one of its biggest profit centers, polychlorinated biphenyls, better know
Public health begins and ends with surveillance. Without knowing some basics like who has a disease and where are they located, it becomes nearly impossible to intervene. However, public health surveillance often raises concerns about privacy and civil liberties. Health officials, for instan

Just Published

Fairchild, A.L., Dawson, R., Bayer, R., & Selgelid, M.J. (2017). The World Health Organization, Public Health Ethics, and Surveillance: Essential Architecture for Social Well-Being. American Journal of Public Health. View abstract

Morabia, A. (2016). The Obama Family's Histroic Contribution to Public Health. American Journal of Public Health. View abstract.

Colgrove, J. (2016). Vaccine Refusal Revisited — The Limits of Public Health Persuasion and Coercion. The New England Journal of Medicine. View abstract.  

Bayer, R., Johns, D., & Galea, S. (2016). A false aura of scientific controversy around salt? The Lancet. View abstract