The conference was organized with the expectation that an open discussion among scientists and scholars might help to place the current alarming outbreak of AIDS in perspective by considering it in the context of the social history of past lethal epidemics. We thought that focusing attention on the many ways in which diseases, particularly catastrophic infectious and contagious diseases, are and have been both biologically and socially defined might help lead the way to a calmer and more effective public response to the problem.
This conference is funded by grants from The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation.
The related issue of Social Research: An International Quarterly
In Time of Plague, Vol. 55, No. 3 (Fall 1988)