Tag Archives: Wellcome Unit Seminars

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.

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.

 

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 3, 29th January

This Monday’s seminar will be given by Professor Megan Vaughan (UCL), who will be speaking on ‘A research enclave in 1940s Nigeria : the Rockefeller Foundation Yellow Fever Research Institute at Yaba, Lagos, 1943-1949’.

‘This paper examines the history of yellow fever research in West Africa in the 1940s, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.  It describes an American-led, sometimes cutting edge programme of work in the field of virology, carried out in the conditions of wartime in a British colony. The scientific ambition and sophistication of this research enclave collided with the reality of a chronically under-funded colonial infrastructure and the neglect of public health.  The paper engages with a number of debates in the history of medical research in colonial Africa, including experimentation, the construction of the “field,” and the “laboratory”, and with questions of biosecurity.’

When? Monday 29th January, 16:00. Tea and coffee will be available in the Common Room from 15.30.

Where? History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

The HSMT Seminar series is convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charters, Dr Roderick Bailey 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:  https://www.wuhmo.ox.ac.uk/termly-seminars

Some background reading from the Wellcome Unit Library:

Megan Vaughan, Curing their ills : colonial power and African illness (Cambridge: Polity, 1991) – R651 VAU 1991

François Delaporte, The history of yellow fever : an essay on the birth of tropical medicine (Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1991) – RC210 DEL 1991

Alfred Jay Bollet, Plagues & poxes : the impact of human history on epidemic disease (New York: Demos, 2002) – RA649 BOL 2004 (also available for Oxford University members as an ebook)

Hormoz Ebrahimnejad (ed.), The development of modern medicine in non-western countries: historical perspectives (London: Routledge, 2009) – R581 DEV 2009

 

 

 

 

 

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

Dr Jessica Meyer (University of Leeds): ‘Medicos, bandage wallahs and knights of the Red Cross: masculinity and military medicine in Britain in the era of the First World War.’

Abstract: ‘Histories of gender and medical caregiving in the First World War have tended to be dominated by studies of female nurses on the one hand, and gender implications of war impairments for the male body on the other.  Male medical caregivers are often overlooked as gendered actors in their own right. In this paper, I will examine the medical care provided by the men of the RAMC, whether doctors, stretcher bearers or nursing orderlies, through the prism of their identities as non-combatant servicemen in wartime. In doing so, I will argue that the masculine identities of these men encompassed competing narratives which nuance our understanding of both military and medical identities in the era of the First World War.’

Where: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When: TODAY, Monday 20th November at 4pm. Tea and coffee will be available from 15:30 in the Common Room.

Seminars convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charters, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.
More information about this term’s seminars can be found here.

 

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 6, 13th November

Speaker: Andrew Lea (University of Oxford)

Title: Computers, Material Culture, and the Definitions of Disease

Abstract: In 1947, the Cornell psychiatrist Keeve Brodman and a handful of colleagues began developing what would become one of the most widely used health questionnaires of its time—the Cornell Medical Index (CMI). A rigidly standardised form, the CMI presented 195 yes-no questions designed to capture the health status of ‘the total patient’. Over the following decades, Brodman’s project of standardising medical history taking gradually evolved into a project of mathematising and computerising diagnosis: out of the CMI grew the Medical Data Screen (MDS), an early computerised method of deriving diagnoses from patient data. At the same time Brodman was beginning to work towards the MDS, another research team, headed by the television pioneer Vladimir Zworykin, was developing a computer program that they hoped would make accurate diagnoses in the field of hematology. This talk examines these two early efforts to computerise diagnosis as entry points into a larger discussion of the role of computers in shaping our definitions—and ultimately our experience—of disease.

Where?: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

When?: Monday 13th November at 16.00. Tea and coffee will be available from 15.30 in the Common Room.

Seminars convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charter, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.
More information about this term’s seminars can be found here.

Seminars in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology- Week 3, 23rd October

Next week’s Seminar in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology will be delivered by Dr Emese Lafferton, on the topic Sciences and cults of the mind: hypnosis, psychiatry and modernity in Austro-Hungary.

Dr Lafferton is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Central European University, Budapest. Her general research interests include the history of life sciences, psychiatry, eugenics, racial thinking, evolutionary theories, hereditary theories, physical anthropology and ethnography;  the history of science, empire, and nationalism; the history and sociology of medicine.

In this talk Dr Lafferton will first briefly present the outline of her book project which studies the 19th century fascination with the mind and weaves compelling case studies from urban and rural Hungary and Austria into a sustained analysis of the psychiatric and popular cultures of the psyche. This provides the wider context for her research on medical hypnosis between 1880 and 1920 in the Hungarian Kingdom. She is interested in how the boundaries of science were questioned, blurred, negotiated or maintained in the face of potentially subversive explorations into elusive psychic phenomena, and will try to show what new insights the Central-Eastern European material and perspective may offer to our understanding of the emergence of the modern European mind.

When?: Monday 23rd October at 16.00. Tea and coffee will be available from 15.30 in the Common Room.

Where?: History Faculty Lecture Theatre, George Street, Oxford

Seminars convened by Professor Rob Iliffe, Dr Sloan Mahone, Dr Erica Charter, Dr Roderick Bailey and Dr Atsuko Naono of the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford.
More information about this term’s seminars can be found here.