Monthly Archives: January 2016

Events at the Oxford Martin School

Please see below for the Oxford Martin School programme of events relating to health and medicine:

“Birth and Death” by Sir Partha Dasgupta
Friday 15 Jan, 12.00 – 1.30pm, Oxford Martin School
, corner of Catte and Holywell Street
Organised by the Oxford Martin School, Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations and the ESRC. Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Cambridge, will discuss the optimum population; that is the value of potential well-beings and the theory of optimum demography that follows from it.
To register and for more information:

“The impact of new technologies on healthcare research” by Professor Martin Landray
Thursday 21 Jan, 5.00 – 6.30pm, Oxford Martin School
, corner of Catte and Holywell Street
A wealth of new and advancing technologies are changing the way we approach research in healthcare. The use of big data sets, precision medicine and machine learning mean that research studies can be bigger, cheaper and wider reaching than ever before. In this lecture, Professor Martin Landray, Deputy Director of the Big Data Institute, and Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, will consider how recent advancements in healthcare technologies have radically changed how we go about medical research, and look at how future innovations could further shape the field.
To register and for more information:

“Nanotechnology: the big picture” by Dr Eric Drexler and Dr Sonia Trigueros
Thursday 28 Jan, 5.00 – 6.30pm, Oxford Martin School
, corner of Catte and Holywell Street
Advancements in nanotechnology could fundamentally change global approaches to manufacturing, medicine, healthcare, and the environment. In this lecture Dr Eric Drexler, Senior Visiting Fellow, Oxford Martin School, will look at current advances in the field of advanced nanotechnology, and the impacts and potential applications of their widespread implementation, and Dr Sonia Trigueros, Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Nanotechnology, and Oxford Martin Senior Fellow, will consider how targeted nanomedicine could change how we treat disease in the future.
To register and for more information:


Hilary Term 2016 Seminar Series

Hilary Term 2016 Seminar Series
Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine,
Seminar Room, 47 Banbury Road, Oxford, OX2 6PE 

The following seminars will be held at on Mondays at 2.15pm

Coffee will be available from 2.00pm

‘Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology’
Conveners: Dr Erica Charters and Dr Sloan Mahone

Week 1 – 18 January
Vanessa Harding, Birkbeck, University of London
‘Reading the plague in seventeenth-century London’

Week 2 – 25 January
Moudhy Al-Rashid, Oriental Instutute, University of Oxford
‘Can we do a history of medicine for ancient Mesopotamia? A critical overview of cuneiform sources from the 1st millennium BCE’

Week 3 – 1 February
Angela Cassidy, King’s College London
‘Knowing animal health in the environment: UK government research on bovine TB, 1970-1995’

Week 4 – 8 February
Will Poole, University of Oxford
‘Weights and measures: Some early-modern English tracts on ancient and modern mensuration’

Week 5 – 15 February
William MacLehose, University College London
‘Mind, body and soul in medieval discussions of nocturnal emissions’

Week 6 – 22 February
Jonathan Healey, University of Oxford
‘Old age, sickness and poor relief in seventeenth-century England’

Week 7 – 29 February
Dan Healey, University of Oxford
‘Lenin’s Gulag hospitals: Caring for political prisoners in early Soviet concentration camps, 1921-1929’

Week 8 – 7 March
Sabine Clarke, University of York
‘Circulating knowledge and colonial modernity: the symbolic function of laboratory research in the British Empire after 1945’

For details of other events please see

Science, Medicine, and Culture Seminar Programme, Hilary 2016

We are pleased to announce our Science, Medicine, and Culture seminar programme for Hilary Term 2016, with two seminars taking place at St Anne’s College, Oxford.


Wednesday 3 February 2016 (Week 3)

Dr Sam Alberti, Director of Museums and Archives, Royal College of Surgeons of England 

Casting no doubt: Plaster Heads in Victorian/Edwardian Science and Medicine

Science and medicine rely on extra-textual objects. From within the array of instruments, models, specimens and other material culture this paper will focus on a specific medium (plaster of Paris casts) and a specific anatomy (the human head). Examples from medicine, anthropology and anatomy will illustrate the particularities of the process of casting, the relationships between interior and exterior, between life and death. Museum stores to this day hold thousands of these widely reproduced and circulated casts, their quantity bewildering, their status ambiguous. Unpacking their significance as clinical and scientific records in the decades around 1900 is revealing.


5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College



Wednesday 17 February 2016 (Week 5)

Professor Graeme Gooday, Professor of History of Science and Technology, University of Leeds

Medical and technological limits: exploiting, evaluating and alleviating adult hearing loss in Britain up to the Great War

While early 19th-century otologists claimed they could ‘cure’ most categories of deafness, by the early twentieth century such boasts were more characteristic of opportunist mail order advertisers. Victorian middle class people who experienced significant auditory loss in adulthood could thus not expect much assistance from physicians in attempting to sustain life among the hearing. Some followed Harriet Martineau’s example and declared their ‘deafness’ publicly by sporting a hearing trumpet to aid conversation. The more self-conscious opted for hearing assistance discreetly disguised in, for example, a ladies’ bonnet or a gentleman’s top hat. Those untroubled by myopia could instead learn lip-reading, or occasionally hand signing. These purported ‘solutions’ to hearing loss were much debated alongside many other aspects of deafness in the Deaf Chronicle founded in 1889, and in its successor periodicals.


5.30 – 7.00, Seminar Room 3, St Anne’s College


Drinks will be served after each seminar and all are welcome; there is no need to book in advance.


The Science, Medicine and Culture seminar series is jointly organised by the Diseases of Modern Life and Constructing Scientific Communities projects at the University of Oxford.

Opening hours w/b 4 January 2016

Happy New Year to all of our readers! This week, our opening hours are reduced – we apologise for any inconvenience.

Tuesday: 2.15pm-5pm
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: Unstaffed

As always, please contact us to make an appointment if you would like to visit the library, and have a wonderful weekend.