Richard Keller

Robert Turell Professor and Chair, Department of Medical History and Bioethics

School of Medicine and Public Health | Department of Medical History and Bioethics

Hometown: Red Bank, NJ

Richard Keller is Robert Turell Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical History and Bioethics in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He is an expert on the social dimensions of disaster and vulnerability, the intersection of environment and health, and the ecology of infectious disease. He completed his BA and MA at the University of Colorado at Boulder and his PhD at Rutgers University. Keller is the author of Fatal Isolation: The Devastating Paris Heat Wave of 2003 (University of Chicago Press, 2015) and Colonial Madness: Psychiatry in French North Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2007), in addition to dozens of articles and chapters. His public-facing work has appeared in the Washington Post, Scientific American, and USA Today.

Professor Keller’s talks can also be given in French.


The Country and the City: The Entangled History of Lyme Disease and HIV

This talk examines how social and economic policies created the conditions necessary for the simultaneous emergence of Lyme disease and HIV/AIDS in the United States in the 1970s.

Perfect Storms: Extreme Heat and Social Vulnerability in a Volatile Climate

This talk examines the factors that are driving increasing levels of heat-related deaths in the United States, Europe, and Asia as a function of aging, economic inequality, and climate change.

Viral Markets: Economics, the Environment, and Emerging Disease in the Twentieth Century

This talk explores the relationship between economic factors and the emergence or re-emergence of diseases such as bubonic plague, HIV, and Lyme disease in the twentieth century.

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