Susan Lederer, PhD

Robert Turell Professor of History of Medicine and Bioethics Chair
Medical History and Bioethics University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Visiting Lecturer, Proseminar Health and Human Values,
The Bioethics Program

Medicine and society in twentieth-century America
Media and medicine
History of medical ethics


Susan Lederer received her bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins and her Masters and PhD in the history of science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her book Flesh and Blood: Organ Transplantation and Blood Transfusion in Twentieth-Century America is forthcoming from Oxford University Press. She is also the author of Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature (Rutgers University Press, 2002), which is the book for an exhibition on Frankenstein that she curated for the National Library of Medicine, and Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997)

Recent Publications

“Experimentation and Ethics,” in Life and Earth Sciences since 1800 (The Cambridge History of Science, Vol. 6) (forthcoming). 

“Hippocrates American Style: Representing Professional Morality in Early Twentieth-Century America,” ) in Hippocrates in Modern Medicine, ed. David Cantor (Scholar Press, forthcoming 

“The Declaration of Helsinki” in Volker Roelcke and Giovanni Maio (eds), Twentieth century ethics of human subjects research: historical perspectives on values, practices and regulations. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. 2004 

“Porto Ricochet": Joking about Germs, Cancer, and Race Extermination in the 1930s” American Literary History 14.4 (2002) 720-746 

“Laying Ethical Foundations for Clinical Research,” (with Jon Harkness and Daniel Wikler), Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2001; 79 (4): 365-366. 

“The Tuskegee Syphilis Study in the Context of American Medical Research, in Tuskegee's "Truths"” in Rethinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, ed. Susan M. Reverby. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000, pp. 266-275. 

“Media and Medicine (with Naomi Rogers),” in Medicine in the Twentieth Century, ed. J. Pickstone and R. Cooter, Harwood, 2000. pp. 487-502. 

“Medical Ethics and the Media: Oaths, Codes, and Popular Culture,” in The American Medical Ethics Revolution, ed. Robert Baker, Arthur Caplan, Linda Emanuel, and Stephen Latham, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999.


Recent Activities

CBS News March 9, 2007 
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Johns Hopkins Colloquium 
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Frankenstein Exhibition 
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