Elena Conis is a historian of medicine and public health. Her research focuses on the history of disease prevention, medical research, and the relationship between environmental movements and health in the twentieth- and twenty first-century United States.
Her first book, Vaccine Nation: America's Changing Relationship with Immunization (University of Chicago Press, 2014), was excerpted by The Atlantic and Salon, named a book of the week by Nature and Times Higher Education, and awarded the Arthur J. Viseltear Prize by the American Public Health Association. She is currently working on a second book, on the history of the pesticide DDT, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Chemical Heritage Foundation, where she is a Cain Fellow for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Prior to joining the History Department at Emory College, Dr. Conis was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Emory's Anthropology Department, a senior fellow in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory, and an award-winning health columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
Episodes for this expert
By the time they are six years old, most kids in the United States have received 49 doses of 14 different vaccines. This is the standard immunization schedule recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, as well as many pediatricians. But, how did we get to this point? When were the first vaccines developed? Who oversees the research, development, efficacy and safety of vaccinations in the United States? And why have vaccinations become such a controversial topic?