History of Science & The Coronavirus Pandemic

David Jones



David S. Jones

David writes on the history of the epidemics focusing on the social determinants of disease and the explanations given for the health inequalities that exist between populations. He is the A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine and Director of the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School.

"The main public health tool during the 1918 pandemic? Social distancing," Harvard Gazette, 3/25/2021

See David's 10-part interview on the pandemic: DiagnosticDetectives.com

"History in an Epidemic" Webinar, The Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Blavatnik Institute, Harvard Medical School, 5/6/2020

"Conversations on Covid-19," Critical Health Humanities Seminar at the Mahindra Humanities Center, 3/26/2020

Commentary in "How Epidemics End" by The New York Times, 5/10/2020

Commentary in "History in a Crisis — Lessons for Covid-19," The New England Journal of Medicine, 4/30/2020

Fighting Against Pandemic,” with Elanah M. Uretsky, Brandeis University, Chronicle, WCVB-TV, 3/31/2020

Does 1918 Even Apply Here?" Slate: What Next, 3/25/2020

COVID-19 Series: Pandemics and Patterns, Past and Present with Dan Arteaga and Isobel Rosenthal, Well Rounded: Health Business & Policy, by trainees, for trainees, 3/17/2020

Springtime in the Plague Year” with Lydon, Christopher, Radio Open Source, 3/19/2020

Contagious Crisis” with Lydon, Christopher, Radio Open Source, 3/12/2020

David's History of Science Webpage

Evelyn Hammonds  

Evelynn Hammonds

Evelynn is Professor of African & African-American Studies, and Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of the History of Science. Her field of research is the History of Medicine, Science & Race. She heads the Hutchins Center project on Race and Gender in Science and Medicine. She has published books and articles on the history of disease, race and science, African American feminism, African American women and the epidemic of HIV/AIDS.

"Toward a Historically Informed Analysis of Racial Health Disparities Since 1619," Evelynn Hammonds & Susan Reverby, The American Journal of Public Health, October 2019.

"How Racism Is Shaping the Coronavirus Pandemic," By Isaac Chotiner. Interview with Evelynn Hammonds, The New Yorker, May 7, 2020.

"Harvard, University of Michigan Professors Discuss the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on Prisons," by Meera Nair. Account of interview with Evelynn Hammonds and Heather Thompson for the Hutchins Center’s Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine, The Harvard Crimson, May 8, 2020.

"Infections and Inequalities," with Dr. Paul Farmer, "Africa & COVID-19 Webinar Series: Shared Experiences with COVID-19 in African and African American Communities," The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, May 14, 2020.

"Economic reforms might be the best health-care reforms," By Evelynn Hammonds & Susan Reverby, The Washington Post, August 3, 2020.

"Enshrining equity in democracy," By Evelynn Hammonds, Science Magazine, September 4, 2020.

"A Pandemic Full of Heartbreaks" by Lydialyle Gibson. Interview with Evelynn Hammonds and Paul Farmer, Harvard Magazine. May 15, 2021.

"A Moment or a Movement? The Pandemic, Political Upheaval, and Racial Reckoning," By Evelynn Hammonds, SIGNS, Autumn 2021

Evelynn's History of Science Webpage

Hannah Marcus  

Hannah Marcus

Hannah is an assistant professor in the Department of the History of Science. Her research focuses on medicine and scientific culture in early modern Europe between 1400 and 1700.

"What the Plague Can Teach Us About the Coronavirus", Opinion, The New York Times, March 1, 2020

The Long & Messy History of Vaccine Cards, The Boston Globe, May 1, 2021

Hannah’s History of Science Webpage

Allan Brandt  

Allan Brandt

Allan holds a joint appointment between the History of Science department and Harvard Medical School. He is the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine. His work focuses on social and ethical aspects of health, disease, medical practices, and global health in the twentieth century. He has written on the social history of epidemic disease; the history of public health and health policy; and the history of human experimentation. 

 "Not a Perfect Storm — Covid-19 and the Importance of Language" with Alyssa Botelho, The New England Journal of Medicine, 4/16/2020.

Commentary in "How Epidemics End" by The New York Times, May 10, 2020

Allan’s History of Science Webpage

Eram Alam  

Eram Alam

Eram specializes in the history of medicine, with a particular emphasis on globalization, migration, and health during the twentieth century. She explores the consequences of postcolonial doctors migrating from South Asia to the United States.

"Covid-19 and AI: A Virtual Conference," via Stanford University, 4/1/2020

Eram’s History of Science Webpage

sarah richardson  

Sarah Richardson

Sarah is a Professor of the History of Science and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Harvard's Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality . She is a historian and philosopher of science who studies the sciences of sex, gender, sexuality, and reproduction.

More than biology influences COVID risk, Harvard Gazette, 8/18/2020

Covid Kills More Men Than Women. Experts Still Can’t Explain Why, Wired Magazine, 7/9/2020

Sarah's History of Science Webpage