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Ronald Bayer

Professor of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health

Ronald Bayer is a Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Co-Chair and Professor at the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health, all at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health

In 1989, Bayer received the honor of the New York Times’ Notable Books of the Year for his influential book Private Acts, Social Consequences: AIDS and the Politics of Public Health. He has been writing about public health ever since.

In addition, Bayer has been a member of The World Health Organization and a consultant on ethical issues in AIDS and tuberculosis. 


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago


  • Searching Eyes: Privacy, the State, and Disease Surveillance in America (University of California Press, 2007), co-authored with Amy L. Fairchild and James Colgrove
  • Shattered Dreams?: An Oral History of the South African AIDS Epidemic (Oxford University Press, 2007), co-authored with Gerald M. Oppenheimer
  • "Public Health Policy and the AIDS Epidemic: An End to HIV Exceptionalism," (The New England Journal of Medicine, 1991)
  • Private Acts, Social Consequences: AIDS and the Politics of Public Health (Free Press, 1989)