Category Archives: Talks & events

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- 14th January (week 1)

When? Monday 14th January 2019, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 7, 19th November

‘The late eighteenth century was a pivotal era in the history of ideas about venereal disease in the British Empire. The slow death of the Atlantic slave trade put new pressures on British doctors to cultivate sexual health among enslaved women in the British Caribbean in order to ensure their fertility, and at the same time the extensive engagement of the British military in the Caribbean raised new concerns about the sexual health of British soldiers and sailors. This paper will discuss how these pressures unfolded and how they shaped the circulation of medical knowledge about venereal disease. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between African and British healers, and especially the engagement  of the Surgeon General of the British Armed Forces, John Hunter, with ideas about venereal disease that were generated in the Caribbean through the interaction of white and black healers.’

When? Monday 19th November 2018, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 6, 12th November

‘What hereditary effect, if any, does alcohol have upon the nervous system? As the temperance movement gained popularity and political influence in the 19th century, the potential influence of intemperate habits on human heredity became a pressing topic for concern in both the medical and the religious press. The shared anxieties of medical and religious institutions led to an abundance of pamphlets and treatises that attempted to unite the religious and phrenological views on the dangers of intoxication. In this paper, I argue that by examining the significance of phrenological thought to the temperance movement, we can better understand how ideas of the transmission of illnesses and vices from parent to offspring were diffused in the 19th century to the reading public. Drawing on John van Wyhe’s characterisation of phrenology as a popular medium through which scientific naturalism gained prominence, I show that the temperance movement provided a site of discourse that communicated not only the dangers of alcohol, but also theories of reproduction, heredity, and the transmission of acquired traits. As such, the temperance movement prioritised some understandings of the laws of heredity while overlooking or downplaying others.’

When? Monday 12th November 2018, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

Lecture 8th Nov: ‘Science Fictions: The triumph of the imagination and the invention of scientific creativity’

Thursday 8th November, 17.00. South Schools, Examinations Schools.
All wellcome to attend! The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the North School.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 5, 5th November

‘This paper looks at how eugenics shaped Catholic discussions on sexuality, reproduction and the protection of the family in Hungary during the interwar period. The main issue at the time was how to harmonise the interests of the state and the nation with the interests of individuals and families. The eugenic focus on reproduction intersected long-seated religious and cultural patterns of family life, which Hungarian Catholics considered unalterable. However, eugenics was not completely rejected by the Catholic Church. Whilst negative eugenic practices such as sterilisation and euthanasia were rejected, positive eugenics was considered an important medium through which the Catholic Church could voice its views on sexual morality, population policies and the protection of Hungarian racial qualities.’

When? Monday 5th November 2018, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 4, 29th October

‘In the Cold War, East Asian nations became involved in a variety of transnational health initiatives. Although Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan all provided support to the World Health Organization and its American-oriented interventions and strategies, the non-aligned People’s Republic of China followed a different path. The public success of mass immunization in China, as determined by the eradication of smallpox and the “control” of other infectious diseases like measles and cholera in the 1950s and 1960s, contributed crucial evidence for the success of Chinese public health more broadly. By the 1970s, immunization was comfortably entrenched in the rural health system that the People’s Republic of China promoted on a global scale via the export of medical materials, personnel, and funds. State agents also cultivated the goodwill of Western observers who traveled to China after 1971. These international activities contributed to the prominence of the PRC in discussions of global health policy, culminating in the World Health Organization’s Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 and its major policy shift towards promoting primary health care: interventions meant to provide basic clinical services for many people, including those in rural areas. Although the PRC became famous for its “barefoot doctors” as the human faces of the rural health system it promoted, its eradication and control of infectious diseases—a consequence of mass immunization—provided key evidence that helped consolidate its position as a leading national model of public health.’

When? Monday 29th October 2018, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 3, 22nd October

Dr Marissa Mika (UCL): Archival ethics from below: the case of an African Cancer Hospital

‘At the Uganda Cancer Institute, lines often blur between past and present, sickness and health, life and death. Founded in 1967 as a small chemotherapy clinical trials facility in Kampala, today the Institute’s 60 beds serve a population catchment of over 40 million living in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The Institute houses the only continuous collection of patient records documenting cancer treatment and care on the African continent. This talk considers the temporal, methodological, and ethical challenges of preserving patient records at the Uganda Cancer Institute.’

When? Monday 22nd October 2018, 16:00. Coffee will be available from 15:30.

Where? Lecture Theatre, History Faculty, George Street, Oxford OX1 2RL

All welcome to attend! This term’s HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Sloan Mahone, Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology. More information about HSMT events can be found here.

 

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology Postgraduate Conference 2018: 7th-8th June

The Oxford Centre for the History of Science, Medicine and Technology presents:

The 2018 HSMT Postgraduate Conference
Sex, Drugs and Death: New Perspectives on Science, Medicine and Technology
Thursday 7th & Friday 8th June
History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford
hsmt conference 2018 event image

With panels on:

  • Early modern natural philosophy
  • Modern science
  • Psychology
  • Public health and colonialism
  • Reproduction and eugenics

See the full programme here.

The History of Science, Medicine, and Technology is an ever-expanding discipline. This two-day conference allows Oxford postgraduate students in the field to present their research, covering a broad chronological, geographic, and thematic scope. Panel topics range from early modern ideas to public health, with individual papers covering subjects as diverse as reproductive technology, honeybee diseases and twentieth-century scepticism about science – truly offering new perspectives, as questions fundamental to the history of science and medicine are explored and examined.

All welcome.  Admission and lunch are free, but registration is essential. To register please contact belinda.clark@wuhmo.ox.ac.uk by 30 May.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology: Week 2, 30th April

Dr Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge) — The Casebooks Project.
‘The Casebooks Project centres on one of the largest surviving sets of medical records in history. Between 1596 and 1634 the notorious London astrologer, Simon Forman, and his protégé Richard Napier, a shy Buckinghamshire clergyman, recorded 80,000 consultations. A decade ago, we piloted Casebooks with an Excel spreadsheet. Now it is a pioneering digital humanities project with a dataset, a web-based search interface and image viewer framed within explanatory documentation and shaped by a programme of academic and public engagement. As the project nears completion, this talk reflects on its lessons for the histories of science and medicine and its implications for future work in the field.’

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When? Monday 30th April, 16:00. Tea and coffee will be available in the Common Room from 15.30.

The HSMT Seminar series is convened by Dr Roderick Bailey, Dr Erica Charters, Professor Rob Iliffe and Dr Atsuko Naono, of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine.
All welcome to attend! For more information on this term’s seminars see the Unit’s webpage.

You can find Dr Kassell’s book, Medicine & Magic in Elizabethan London: Simon Forman; astrologer, alchemist, & physician, at the Wellcome Unit Library at shelfmark R489.F585 KAS 2005.
Also available as an ebook here – just log into SOLO for access.

Climate and the Plague: The Astor Lecture in Global Environmental History- Friday 25th May

The Oxford Centre for Global History presents the 2018 Astor Lecture in Global Environmental History:

Professor John L. Brooke (Ohio State University)
‘Climate and the Plague: Toward a Late Holocene Eurasian Synthesis’

Friday 25 May, 5:30pm (followed by drinks)
St Antony’s College – Nissan Lecture Theatre

  All welcome, but registration is essential. For further information and to register, contact global@history.ox.ac.uk 

The history of the bubonic plague – a central question in Eurasian environmental history for decades — has been fundamentally changed by new research in genetics and climate science. Traditionally thought to have been a new disease around the time of the Black Death, genetic analysis now has extended the origins of the plague back first to Plague of Justinian and now deep into the prehistory of arid Central Asia. We now can suggest when and where the bubonic plague emerged, and how shifting climates drove its emergence and epidemic diffusion, entangled with patterns of steppe migrations and trade.

John L. Brooke is an Arts & Sciences Distinguished Professor of History and Director of the Center for Historical Research at the Ohio State University, where he also holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Anthropology.  He has held fellowships awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Charles Warren Center, and Harvard University.  Building on work with the Tufts University Environmental Studies Program, the OSU History Constellation in Environment, Health, Technology,  And Science, and the National Science Foundation-funded ‘Project on European Health since the Paleolithic’, his most recent book is Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey (CUP 2014).  Examining the long material and natural history of the human condition, his research has pioneered the integration of the earth-system approach of the new climate science with human history.