John Barry is a New York Times best-selling author whose books have won multiple awards. The National Academies of Sciences named his 2004 book The Great Influenza the year’s outstanding book on science or medicine. His earlier book won the Francis Parkman Prize of the Society of American Historians for the year’s best book of American history and in 2005, the New York Public Library named it one of the 50 best books in the preceding 50 years.
His books have also been embraced by experts in applicable fields: in 2006 he became the only non-scientist ever to give the National Academies Abel Wolman Distinguished Lecture, a lecture which honors contributions to water-related science, and he was the only non-scientist on a federal government Infectious Disease Board of Experts. He has served on numerous boards, including ones at M.I.T's Center for Engineering Systems Fundamentals, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Society of American Historians.