David Shumway Jones
David Jones, Ph.D., M.D.
A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

David Jones completed his AB degree at Harvard College in 1993 (History and Science), and then pursued a PhD in History of Science at Harvard University and an MD at Harvard Medical School, receiving both in 2001. After an internship in pediatrics at Children's Hospital and Boston Medical Center, he trained as a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital, and then worked for two years as a staff psychiatrist in the Psychiatric Emergency Service at Cambridge Hospital. He joined the faculty at MIT in 2005 as an assistant professor of the history and culture of science and technology. From 2004 to 2008, Professor Jones directed the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine at MIT, organizing a successful series of conferences about race, science, and technology. In 2009, he was appointed as a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, MIT’s highest honor for faculty who have made sustained contributions to undergraduate education. He also taught as a lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he was awarded the 2010 Donald O'Hara Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching. In 2011, he left MIT to join the Harvard faculty full-time as the inaugural A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine, a joint position between the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine. The Ackerman Program at Harvard University fosters collaborations in the medical humanities and social sciences across the two campuses. At Harvard, he received the 2018 Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; in 2020 he was appointed as a Harvard College Professor, in honor of his undergraduate teaching. He also directs the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School.

His initial research focused on epidemics among American Indians (Rationalizing Epidemics: Meanings and Uses of American Indian Mortality since 1600, Harvard University Press, 2004). His next project examined the history of decision making in cardiac therapeutics (Broken Hearts: The Tangled History of Cardiac Care, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). He has also published widely in the New England Journal of Medicine, American Journal of Public Health, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, and the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences. His research has been supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is currently at work on three other histories, of the evolution of coronary artery surgery, of heart disease and cardiac therapeutics in India, and of the threat of air pollution to health. His teaching at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School explores the history of medicine, medical ethics, and social medicine.

  • Department of History, Harvard University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
  • Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
History in a Crisis - Lessons for Covid-19.
Authors: Authors: Jones DS.
N Engl J Med
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Sounding the Alarm on Climate Change, 1989 and 2019.
Authors: Authors: Dunk JH, Jones DS.
N Engl J Med
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In Search of Historical Insight Into the Problem of Military Suicide.
Authors: Authors: Jones DS.
JAMA Netw Open
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Human Health on an Ailing Planet - Historical Perspectives on Our Future.
Authors: Authors: Dunk JH, Jones DS, Capon A, Anderson WH.
N Engl J Med
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Making heart-lung machines work in India: Imports, indigenous innovation and the challenge of replicating cardiac surgery in Bombay, 1952-1962.
Authors: Authors: Jones DS, Sivaramakrishnan K.
Soc Stud Sci
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In Reply to Wald.
Authors: Authors: Greene JA, Jones DS.
Acad Med
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The 50-Year Legacy of the Harvard Report on Brain Death.
Authors: Authors: Truog RD, Pope TM, Jones DS.
JAMA
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Transplant Buccaneers: P.K. Sen and India's First Heart Transplant, February 1968.
Authors: Authors: Jones DS, Sivaramakrishnan K.
J Hist Med Allied Sci
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The Shared Goals and Distinct Strengths of the Medical Humanities: Can the Sum of the Parts Be Greater Than the Whole?
Authors: Authors: Greene JA, Jones DS.
Acad Med
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CABG at 50 (or 107?) - The Complex Course of Therapeutic Innovation.
Authors: Authors: Jones DS.
N Engl J Med
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