Susan M. Reverby is a professor emerita of women's and gender studies at Wellesley College. A historian of American women, medicine, and nursing, she has edited numerous volumes in these fields and is the author of the prizewinning Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing (1987). She is also the author of Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (2009) and the editor of Tuskegee's Truths (2000), considering the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study run by the U.S. Public Health Service from 1932 to 1972. Examining Tuskegee won three major prizes including the Phi Beta Kappa Society's Ralph Emerson Prize for the best book in the humanities. Reverby was a member of the Legacy Committee that successfully lobbied President Bill Clinton to offer a public apology to the surviving men and their heirs in 1997. Her research on an immoral sexually transmitted diseases' inoculation study in Guatemala led to international media coverage as well as an apology by President Barack Obama's administration to that country in 2010. She has also served as the consumer representative on the fda's Obstetrical and Gynecological Devices Panel. Her current project is a biography of physician Alan Berkman (1945-2009), a world-renowned HIV/AIDS and global health researcher and only the second doctor in American history arrested as an accessory to murder for his political actions.
Alan Berkman (1945-2009) was a world-renowned HIV/AIDS physician researcher/activist and only the second doctor in American history to be arrested for accessory to murder after the fact for his political work. This lecture traces his experiences from small town Eagle scout and boy genius into the maelstrom of American radical politics in the 1970s-80s. Berkman served seven hard years in maximum security, almost died from his cancers in prison, and went on to organize a world wide struggle for appropriate treatment in the Global South. His is an unlikely story but gives insight both into the life of American political prisoners and health activism.