JD. Scott Burris


Scott Burris, JD., is a Professor of Law and Public Health at Temple University, where he directs Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Policy Surveillance Program. He work focuses on how law influences public health, and what interventions can make laws and law enforcement practices healthier in their effects. He has led efforts in the U.S. to bring science, law and public health practice closer together in a “transdisciplinary” model of public health law. He is the author of over 200 books, book chapters, articles and reports on issues including urban health, HIV/AIDS, research ethics, global health governance, and the health effects of criminal law and drug policy. His work has been supported by organizations including the Open Society Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK Department for International Development, and the CDC. He has served as a consultant to numerous U.S. and international organizations including WHO, UNODC and UNDP. He is a founder of Legal Science, LLC, a private company dedicated to the social mission of improving access to legal information and the supporting the practice of policy surveillance. He has been a visiting scholar at RegNet at the Australian National University, and a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Cape Town Law School. In 2014, he was the recipient of the American Public Health Law Association Health Law Section Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • • Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods (Wiley-Jossey Bass, 2013) (editor, with Wagenaar)
  • • Burris, S., M. Ashe, D. Blanke, J. Ibrahim, D. Levin, G. Matthews, M. Penn and M. Katz. In press. Better Health Faster: The Five Essential Public Health Law Services. Public Health Reports.
  • • Burris, S., L. Hitchcock, J.Ibrahim, M. Penn and T. Ramanathan. 2016. Policy Surveillance: a Vital Public Health Practice Comes of Age. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. doi: 10.1215/03616878-3665931.
  • • Burris, S., M. Ashe, D. Levin, M. Penn and M. Larkin. 2016. A Transdisciplinary Approach to Public Health Law: The Emerging Practice of Legal Epidemiology. Annual Review of Public Health 37(1): 135-148.
  • • Researchers and Research Knowledge in Evidence-Informed Policy Innovation, in Regulating Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Foods: The Legal Issues (Tania Voon et al. eds., Routledge, 2014) (with Anderson)
  • • Komro, K., S. Burris, and A. C. Wagenaar. 2014. Social Determinants of Child Health: Concepts and Measures for Future Research. Health Behavior and Policy Review 1(6): 432-45.
  • • Burris, S. and E. Anderson. 2013. Legal Regulation of Health-Related Behavior: A Half-Century of Public Health Law Research. Annual Review of Law and Social Science 9(1):95-117.
  • • Burris, S., G.P. Mays, F.D. Scutchfield, J.K. Ibrahim. 2012. Moving from Intersection to Integration: Public Health Law Research and Public Health Systems and Services Research. Milbank Quarterly 90(2): 375-408.
  • • Mello, M., S. Burris, J. Ibrahim, J. Swanson and A. Wagenaar. 2013. Critical Opportunities for Public Health Law: A Call for Action. American Journal of Public Health http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2013.301281.
  • • Burris, S., A. Wagenaar, J. Swanson, J. Ibrahim, J. Wood and M. Mello. 2010. Making the Case for Laws That Improve Health: A Framework for Public Health Law Research. Milbank Quarterly 88(2): 169-210.


  • Director, Center for Public Health Law Research, Temple University, USA