John C Waller, PhD 


Associate Professor
Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University
Associate Professor,
History Department, Michigan State University



Biographical notes and descriptions of books
and other publications by John Waller


Educated at Oxford and London with degrees in biology and history of science and medicine, John Waller has lived in England, Australia and the USA and taught at Oxford University, Harvard University, University College London, University of Melbourne, and Michigan State University.

An Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne, he was a tenured Lecturer at the Centre for Health and Society, before moving to the United States. Now living in East Lansing, Michigan, he is Associate Professor, History of Medicine, at Lyman Briggs College, and Associate Professor, History of Science, in the Department of History at Michigan State University.



In addition to his academic articles and reviews, he has published five books in Britain and the USA relating to the history of science, medicine and society, his latest being, "Dancing Plague", (published in the United Kingdom as "A Time to Dance, A Time to Die").

(Click for detailed Bio)

UPDATE - Tough family news:
On  April 1, 2011, Charlie, the 2 year old son of John and Abigail (nee Graham-Yooll) Waller was diagnosed with a pontine glioma -- the grimmest of all brain stem cancers. Details and latest updates on

(Click on title for more detail, or go to Reviews)

Dancing Plague
The Dancing Plague

"Extraordinary...You only have to read the first few pages to be drawn into the fascinating story.”

Evan Davis, BBC Radio 4

(NOTE: Published in UK as
"A Time to Dance, A Time to Die

Einstein's Luck Leaps in the Dark The Discovery of the Germ The Real Oliver Twist
Einstein's Luck Leaps in the Dark The Discovery of the Germ The Real Oliver Twist

'[A] lively and engaging book' American Scientist.

(NOTE: Published in UK as "Fabulous Science")

'Leaps in the Dark succeeds wonderfully in revealing the subtlety of the scientific process.’ The Guardian.

‘Waller’s description … makes the book into a real page turner ’ British Medical Journal.

'A remarkable narrative  … Waller carries his scholarship lightly.” Times Educational Supplement (Book of the week).


"Waller writes with clarity and flair . . . he has a real talent for telling a story."
Roy Porter