Andrea Rusnock

  • Professor
  • Washburn, Rm 118
  • Phone: 401.874.9021
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Washburn, Rm 118


Andrea Rusnock is Professor of History at URI.  Her research areas include the history of vaccination, history of disease and public health, and history of quantification in the Enlightenment.  She is the author of two books and numerous articles, and is currently completing a book manuscript titled The Birth of Vaccination. Her work has been supported by fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Library of Medicine, and the Wellcome Trust.

She teaches courses on the history of medicine and public health, history of epidemics, vaccines and society, and historical approaches to the Enlightenment.  She is the Vice Chair of the Institutional Review Board and a member of the Health Professions Advisory Committee.


  • Science and medicine in the Enlightenment, quantification, public health and the environment
  • history of vaccination


  • Ph.D., Princeton University, 1990
  • M.A., Princeton University, 1985
  • B.A., Brown University, 1982

Selected Publications


  • Vital Accounts: Quantifying Health and Population in Eighteenth-Century England and France (Cambridge University Press, 2002; paperback 2008).
  • The Correspondence of James Jurin (1684-1750), Physician and Secretary to the Royal Society, edited with an introduction, notes, and calendar of correspondence, Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1996).


  • “Charitable Accounting:  The Royal Jennerian Society and Vaccine Production,” in Accounting for Health: Economic Practices and Medical Knowledge, 1500-1970, ed. Axel Hüntelmann and Oliver Falk (Manchester University Press, 2021), 209-229.
  • “Humanitarian Goals, Financial Constraints, and Residual questions of America’s First Vaccine Institute,” American Journal of Public Health 108, no. 6 (June 2018): 715-7.
  • “Inventing Population: Biopower and Governmentality,” in Reproduction: From Antiquity to the Present Day, ed. Nick Hopwood, Rebecca Fleming, and Lauren Kassell (Cambridge:  University of Cambridge Press, 2018), 333-346.
  • “Historical context and the roots of Jenner’s discovery,” Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics 22 March 2016: 2025-8.
  • “Defining Women’s Work and Illness: Female Friendly Societies, 1780-1830,” in Journal of Women’s History, co-authored with Vivien Dietz, 24(2012): 60-85.
  • “Catching Cowpox: The Early Spread of Smallpox Vaccination, 1798-1810,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 83 (2009): 17-36.
  • “Making Sense of Vaccination ca. 1800,” in Crafting Immunity: Working Histories of Clinical Immunology, ed. Kenton Kroker, Jennifer Keelan, and Pauline M.H. Mazumdar (Aldershot, Hampshire and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2008), 17-28.
  • “Medical Statistics and Hospital Medicine: The Case of Smallpox Vaccination,” Centaurus 49 (2007): 337-359.
  • “Quantifying Infant Mortality in Eighteenth-Century England and France,” in Body Counts: Medical Quantification in Historical and Sociological Perspectives/La quantification micale, perspectives historiques et sociologiques, ed. Gard Jorland, Annick Opinel and George Weisz (Montreal: McGill-Queen University Press, 2005).
  • “‘Merchant’s Logick’: Numerical Debates over Smallpox Inoculation in Eighteenth-Century England,” The Road to Medical Statistics, ed. Eileen Magnello and Anne Hardy (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi Press, 2002), 37-54.
  • “Hippocrates, Bacon, and Medical Meteorology at the Royal Society, 1700-1750,”Hippocrates and Modern Medicine, ed. David Cantor, (Ashgate Press, 2001), 144-161.
  • “Correspondence Networks and the Royal Society,” British Journal for the History of Science32 (1999):155-69.
  • “Biopolitics and the Mathematics of Population: Medical and Political Arithmetic in the Eighteenth Century,” in The Sciences in Enlightened Europe, ed. William Clark, Jan Golinski, and Simon Schaffer (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999).
  • “The Weight of Evidence and the Burden of Authority: Case Histories, Medical Statistics, and Smallpox Inoculation,” in Medicine in the Enlightenment, ed. Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute Series in the History of Medicine (Amsterdam and Atlanta: Rodopi, 1995), 289-315.
  • “Quantification, Precision, and Accuracy: Determinations of Population in the Ancient Regime,” in The Values of Precision, ed. M. Norton Wise (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995), 17-38.


Editor, Osiris, 2009-2017; an annual journal published by the History of Science Society and the University of Chicago Press; responsible for volumes 28 through 32.