Jason L. Schwartz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Yale School of Public Health. He holds a secondary appointment in the Section of the History of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and is also affiliated with the Program in the History of Science and Medicine at Yale. He has written widely on vaccines and vaccination programs, decision-making in public health policy, and the structure and function of scientific expert advice to government. His general research interest is in the ways in which evidence is interpreted, evaluated, and translated into regulation and policy in medicine and public health.
Schwartz's publications on topics in public health policy and history have appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), The American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, The Milbank Quarterly, and elsewhere. He is also an author of the chapter titled “Ethics” in Plotkin's Vaccines, the leading textbook of vaccine science and policy, and editor of Vaccination Ethics and Policy: An Introduction with Readings (MIT Press, 2017). He is currently working on a book manuscript, Medicine by Committee: Expert Advice and Health Care in Modern America, that examines the emergence, evolution, and continuing influence of expert advisory committees in American medicine and public health from the 1960s to the present, particularly regarding pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and screening technologies. This project is supported by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Other current research projects examine how policy-makers, regulators, physicians, and patients evaluate and respond to the risks, benefits, and costs of medical interventions.
Schwartz regularly teaches courses and gives lectures on vaccination issues, health policy and the U.S. health care system, pharmaceuticals and the FDA, science advice to government, and related topics. His research and perspectives have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, Time, Associated Press, and elsewhere.
Prior to arriving at Yale, Schwartz was the Harold T. Shapiro Fellow in Bioethics at the Princeton University Center for Human Values, and earlier, an Associate Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He was also a staff member for President Barack Obama's Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, where he was a lead staff author of the Commission's 2010 report on synthetic biology and emerging technologies and a contributor to its 2011 investigation of U.S. Public Health Service-led STD research in Guatemala in the 1940s.
Schwartz is a graduate of Princeton University, where he received an A.B. in classics, and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in the history and sociology of science and a master's degree (MBE) in bioethics.