Gerald Markowitz Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor
Department of History
Email: Discipline: Public Health, History Expertise: Health Risks, Public and Population Health, Urban Health, Occupational Health

Investigator Award
The Un-Natural History of Public Health: From Epidemics and Injuries to Chronic Illness and Bio-Terrorism
Award Year: 2002 Since September 2001, America's public health infrastructure has received more attention than at any time since the polio vaccination campaigns of the 1950s. David Rosner, Ph.D., M.P.H. and co-principal investigator Gerald Markowitz, Ph.D. address the effects on the field of public health of new mandates and resources aimed at protecting Americans from bioterrorism. Their project, The Un-Natural History of Public Health, takes a fresh look at the history of public health and examines the U.S. experience with crises, disease, and mortality from the 1900s to the present. The investigators will consider the physical, political, and social changes that have affected the American experience of illness and death and the structure of public health services. Their work will provide a broad historical perspective and new insights for future public health policymaking.


Gerald Markowitz is distinguished professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He received his doctorate from the department of history of the University of Wisconsin. He is the recipient of numerous grants from private and federal agencies, including the Milbank Memorial Fund, National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. He won the Viseltear Prize for Outstanding Work in the History of Public Health from the American Public Health Association in 2000. Together with David Rosner he has authored and edited books and articles on occupational safety and health, including Deadly Dust: Silicosis and the Politics of Occupational Disease in Twentieth Century America (2002), Dying for Work (1987), and Slaves of the Depression: Workers' Letters about Life on the Job (1987). He and David Rosner have authored Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution (2002) and recently co-authored Are We Ready? Public Health since 9/11, Milbank Memorial Fund (2006).