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, and an historian of American women, medicine, public health and nursing.
She has been an historian of the Syphilis Study for more than a decade. Her articles on the Study have appeared in England in the Times Education Supplement and the Postgraduate Medical Journal and in the United States in the Hastings Center Report and the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics. Her 2009 book is Examining Tuskegee: The Infamous Syphilis Study and its Legacy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009). Her article "History of an Apology: From Tuskegee to the White House" won both the Will Solimene Award and the Ralph A. Deterling Award from the New England Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association in 1998. Her article on Nurse Eunice Rivers, a key figure in the Study, appeared in the Nursing History Review and is reprinted in her edited book on the Study, Tuskegee's Truths: Re-thinking the Tuskegee Syphilis Study (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000). She was a member of the Legacy Committee on the Syphilis Study that successfully lobbied President Bill Clinton to offer a public apology to the surviving men and their heirs in 1997. She continues to work with the National Bioethics Center at Tuskegee University in Tuskegee, Alabama, and with community members in the Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation in Notasulga, Alabama, to remember and honor the men of the Study and their families, while teaching a new generation how to think about both history and research.
Reverby was the first faculty hire at Wellesley in Women's Studies and has taught at the college since 1982. In addition to the books on the Study, she is the editor or co-editor of America's Working Women: a Documentary History (1976); Health Care in America: Essays in Social History (1979); The History of American Nursing: a 32 Volume Reprint Series (1982-83); and Gendered Domains: Beyond the Public and Private in Women's History (1992). Her prize-winning book, Ordered to Care: The Dilemma of American Nursing (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987) is still considered one of the major overview histories of American nursing and won the Lavinia Dock Historical Scholarship award from the American Association for the History of Nursing. She is a former health policy analyst and women's health activist. From 1993-1997 she served as the consumer representative on the U.S. FDA's Obstetrics and Gynecology Devices Advisory Panel. She comments regularly in the media and speaks widely on issues of health care, gender, race, history and public policy.
Susan M. Reverby received her BS degree from Cornell University in labor history, an MA from New York University in American Civilization and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Boston University. She has held three different distinguished chairs at Wellesley College and received support for her scholarship from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, American Association of University Women, and the National Library of Medicine. She has been a fellow twice each at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard University.
Other publications by Susan M. Reverby on the Study, race and medicine: