The U.S. Public Health Service STD Inoculation Studies in Guatemala, 1946-48: Why Do They Matter Now?

Susan M. Reverby

March 17, 2011

Event Description

On October 1, 2010, the U.S. government apologized to the government of Guatemala for research done by the National Institutes of Health in the 1940s that deliberately infected nearly 700 Guatemalans with venereal diseases. This lecture explains what the studies were, how they went from an obscure archive to the front-page, and what we can learn from the responses. 


Susan M. Reverby is the Marion Butler McLean Professor in the History of Ideas and Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. An historian of American women, nursing, medicine and public health, she is most recently the editor of Tuskegee’s Truths: Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (2000) and author of Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (2009).

Jodi Halpern, Associate Professor, Community Health and Human Development, School of Public Health.

Arthur Reingold, Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Dean for Research, School of Public Health.


Co-sponsored by the Human Rights Center, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Boalt Hall Committee for Human Rights, the Berkeley Law School, the Graduate School of Journalism and the Departments of History and African American Studies.