Selected Writing

About me

Selected Research

I'm a historian of U.S. public health and medicine, with a special focus on the history of infectious diseases, environmental health, vaccines, pesticides, scientific controversies, and the public's understanding of health and health science.

My research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Library of Medicine, the Science History Institute, UCLA's Charles Donald O'Malley Research Fellowship, and Emory University, where I was formerly the Mellon Foundation Faculty Fellow in Health and the Humanities and a faculty member in the Department of History.

At Berkeley, I teach in the Graduate School of Journalism and the Media Studies Program, and I direct the joint graduate program in Public Health and Journalism.


PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine

MS, University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health

MJ, University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism

BA, Columbia University

Measles: A Global History, under contract, Polity

How to Sell a Poison, Bold Type Books, 2022

Pink & Blue: Gender, Culture and the Health of Children, with Aimee Medeiros and Sandra Eder, Rutgers University Press, 2021

Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship with 

Immunization, University of Chicago Press, 2015; recipient of the American Public Health Association's Arthur J. Viseltear Award, 2015   

The History of the Personal Belief Exemption, Pediatrics

Measles and the Modern History of Vaccination, Public Health Reports

DDT, Polio, and Public Health in the U.S. After World War II, Environmental History

Vaccines, Pesticides, and Narratives of Exposure and Evidence, Canadian Bulletin of Medical History; AMS Paterson Lecture 

DDT Disbelievers, Southern Spaces

Vaccination Resistance in Historical Perspective, The American Historian

A Mother’s Responsibility: Women, Medicine, and the Rise of Contemporary Vaccine Skepticism in the U.S., Bulletin of the History of Medicine

'Do We Really Need Hepatitis B on the Second Day of Life?’ Vaccination Mandates and Shifting Representations of Hepatitis B, Journal of Medical Humanities

Debating the Health Effects of DDT: Thomas Jukes, Charles Wurster, and the Fate of an Environmental Pollutant, Public Health Reports