Elena Conis is a writer and historian of medicine, public health, and the environment. Prior to joining the Graduate School of Journalism, she was a professor of history and the Mellon Fellow in Health and Humanities at Emory University and an award-winning health columnist for the Los Angeles Times, where she wrote the “Esoterica Medica,” “Nutrition Lab,” and “Supplements” columns.
Her current research focuses on scientific controversies, science denial, and the public understanding of science, and has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Institutes of Health/National Library of Medicine, and the Science History Institute. Her first book, Vaccine Nation: America’s Changing Relationship with Immunization, received the Arthur J. Viseltear Award from the American Public Health Association and was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and a Science Pick of the Week by the journal Nature. She is currently working on a book on science and the public.
Elena is an affiliate of Berkeley's Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society and the Department of Anthropology, History, and Social Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. She holds a PhD in the history of health sciences from UCSF; masters degrees in journalism and public health from Berkeley; and a bachelors degree in biology from Columbia University.