The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A Tragedy of Race and
Public Health - James Jones, University of Arkansas
From 1932 until 1972, the United States Public Health Service (PHS) conducted a deadly, deceptive, and unethical medical experiment on more than 400 poverty stricken, poorly educated African-American sharecroppers in and around Tuskegee, the county seat of Macon County, nestled in the heart of Alabama’s “black belt.”
The purpose of the experiment was to chart the natural history of syphilis by leaving the men untreated. For forty years, the PHS officers observed the men and wrote scientific papers chronicling a macabre saga of death and debilitating complications caused by untreated syphilis.
Professor Jones will explain how the experiment got started, how it could have gone on for forty years, and how it reflected salient aspects of the history of race relations in the United States.
Co-sponsored by the Departments of Sociology, Anthropology and Health Administration and Policy (SAHAP), History, and Biological Sciences