Seminar

Public-private partnerships in health: exploring origins and implications

Linsey McGoey (University of Essex) This paper draws on the history of ideas in order to investigate early 20th-century shifts in economic thought that have led to widespread 21st-century assumptions about the effectiveness of private-sector actors in improving health outcomes. Firstly, I explore the legacy of the ‘socialist calculation debate,’ with particular reference to the […]

‘The Cost of Living and Dying’: Richard Titmuss, Population, and Population Health, ca.1935-1945

John Stewart (Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, Oxford) This paper examines Richard Titmuss’s analysis of population and population health in the early part of his career, from 1935 to 1945.  In the mid-1930s Titmuss was relatively unknown but the evidence shows that he was already interested in matters of population and population health.  […]

Resistance – a story of antibiotics, bacteria, and public health in Britain (1935-1998)

  (Co-hosted  with the Antimicrobial Resistance Centre) Claas Kirchhelle (University of Oxford) Rising bacterial resistance against antibiotics is one of the most pressing health issues of the 21st century. Decision makers at the international, transnational, and national levels all agree that antibiotic use has to be reformed and resistance reduced. However, there remains considerable disagreement […]

Disability Goes Global: The Repercussions of the International Year of Disabled Persons (1981) for Global Health

  (co-hosted with the International Centre for Evidence in Disability (ICED) Monika Baár (Leiden University) 1981 was designated by the United Nations the International Year of Disabled Persons, to be followed by the International Decade of Disabled Persons (1982-1993). It was the first occasion to place disability into a global context by endorsing it authoritatively […]

Health benefits through Christian conversion? Lessons from a Ugandan hospital registry, 1908-1970

Felix Meier zu Selhausen (University of Sussex) Shane Doyle (University of Leeds) Felix Meier zu Selhausen (University of Sussex) Jacob Weisdorf (University of Southern Denmark) What were the incentives for Africans, in terms of health and education, of converting to Christianity? We use patient registers from the earliest mission hospital in rural Uganda, Toro Hospital, […]

The History of AIDS, Global Health and Brazil, 1996-2005

Marcos Cueto (Casa de Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro) During the past few decades, Brazil has had a complex and contradictory relationship with Global Health marked by achievements but also by discontinuity and fragmentation. In 1996, it was a pioneer in providing free access of antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS challenging pharmaceutical companies. The Brazilian AIDS […]

‘You must relax’: Developing health expertise in postwar Britain

Ayesha Nathoo (University of Exeter) Therapeutic relaxation practices proliferated in the postwar decades, promoted by practitioners as a means of enhancing wellbeing, preventing ill-health and treating a wide array of conditions. This paper investigates the sites and means of relaxation instruction in Britain – from radio and television programmes to group classes and self-help books. […]

From ‘terribly pitiful’ to ‘red badges of courage’? Sexual health and sexually transmitted infections among men who had sex with men before HIV

Richard McKay (Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge) Dr McKay will discuss preliminary findings from the ‘Before HIV’ project, an ongoing historical research study funded by the Wellcome Trust. The project investigates the mid-twentieth-century history of sexual health and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among gay men and other men who had […]

Pathologising pubic hair: the practice of pre-delivery shaving and hygienic hair-modifying behaviours in twentieth and twenty-first century Britain

Laura Cofield (University of Sussex) In 2014, a Mintel survey identified that eighty-three per cent of men and women agreed that public hair removal made them feel more hygienic. This is despite a public call to end pubic hair removal by physicians such as Emily Gibson (M.D) who has described the hairless trend as ‘a […]

A Genealogy of Prohibition: Life and Politics of Drugs in Modern Iran (1909-2015)

Maziyar Ghiabi (St Antony’s College, Oxford University) Persians ‘had rather go without their Dinners, than their Pipes…’ wrote the famous French voyageur Chardin after one of his travels in Persia. This statement holds true of the widespread use of smoking tobacco and other substances in Iran, since the late 16th Century. Given that opium (taryak) […]

From patients to consumers: a history of pregnancy testing in Britain

Jesse Olszynko-Gryn (Wellcome Trust Fellow) Today, home pregnancy testing is completely taken for granted. It is implicated in personal decisions and public discourses around all aspects of reproduction, from teen pregnancy and abortion to the biological clock. And yet, only fifty years ago, the majority of women waited not minutes, but months to find out […]

Under the Covers? Commerce, Condoms and Consumers in Britain, 1880-1960

Claire Jones (Kings College London) By the 1960s, Britain was home to a booming trade in mechanical contraceptives, a trade which would have been unrecognizable one hundred years earlier. What had been a small underground network of individual sellers of ‘French Letters’ during the early half of the nineteenth century became a profitable industry, which […]

‘The plague of modern society’: newspapers and popular understanding of stress in late twentieth-century Britain

Jill Kirby University of Sussex This paper will discuss the popular discourse of stress in the late twentieth century by examining representation of the concept in a selection of national newspapers and in personal accounts of stress from the Mass Observation Project. In doing so, it illustrates continuity and change in the ways stress was […]

On Call in Africa – in War and Peace 1910-1932

Dr Tony Jewell This recently published book is based on the memoir of Dr Norman Jewell who having qualified at Trinity College Dublin was appointed to the Colonial Medical Service in Seychelles in 1910. When WW1 was declared he volunteered to join the British Army in East Africa where led the 3rd East African Field […]

POSTPONED: ‘The new medium of radio: threat and healing during the early1920s’

POSTPONED Michael Guida (Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex) The conditions of mass culture, mass consumption and universal suffrage of the early twentieth century raised the question in anxious professional classes of how to create an informed and cultured modern democracy, and how new forms of mass media might help in that task. The […]

‘Communicating consensus: from the Medical Officer of Health annual reports for London to an alternative history of interwar public health’

Jane Seymour (Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM) The foundation for the current historiography of public health in the interwar period was laid in the 1980s by Jane Lewis and Charles Webster, who were largely critical of local authority medical provision. More recently, several other authors have modified this negative appraisal with more nuanced […]

The Rise of Risk: The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Risk Management in Twentieth Century Britain

Chris Sirrs (Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM) Since 1974, risk assessment has become a cornerstone of British and European health and safety regulation. Under British health and safety law, employers are required to evaluate the risks generated by their systems and processes, and take commensurate steps to protect their workers against accidents and […]

Tuberculosis Control in Postcolonial South India and Beyond: Fractured Sovereignties in International Health, 1948-1960

Vivek Neelakantan (Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM), Chennai) Between 1948 and 1960, South India and Southeast Asia emerged as global laboratories for tuberculosis control. This article attempts to situate tuberculosis control of these two regions within the broader context of international health. It investigates the unique ways in which tuberculosis control in Madras state […]

“How (not to) write the history of refugees”

Jessica Reinisch (Birkbeck, University of London) Faced with reports of current migration into Europe, many commentators are searching for historical comparisons and precedents. Both the Kindertransport of 1938 and the Hungarian refugee crisis of 1956 have been misleadingly cited as precedents to be emulated by policymakers today. However, these comparisons are stripped of their context, […]

“Bludgeoned into Accepting What is Good for Us”: Fear, Risk, Fluoridation and the Home in Post-War Britain

Glen O’Hara (Oxford Brookes University) As rationing came to an end in the 1950s, and tooth decay from sugary drinks and sweets became a topic of great concern for doctors and dentists, UK policymakers looked to US experiments with fluoridising the water supply for a glimpse of a scientific future that would help them escape […]

‘Communicating Cholera: Nineteenth-Century Epidemiology and the Scientific Image’

Amanda Sciampicone (University of Warwick) The mysterious and deadly nature of cholera’s epidemiology compelled Victorian medics to investigate the disease. Increasingly, medics concentrated on tropical climates and unusual meteorological phenomena as the cause of cholera’s morbidity and spread, utilizing scientific diagrams, graphs, and maps to elucidate their arguments. In attempting to visualize cholera, these images […]

Dirty secrets, dirty laundry: The functions of secrecy in discourses of Victorian women’s drinking

Jennifer Wallis (St Anne’s College, University of Oxford) In the late nineteenth-century British press, the ‘lady secret drinker’ was an enigmatic, if disturbing, figure. Fashionable but foolish, she was used to illustrate the risks of broadening access to alcohol via changing licensing laws, as well as woman’s supposedly inherent ‘deceptive’ potential. Yet, at the same […]

Screening the National Health Service: Approaching a Cultural History through Moving Pictures

Jane Hand (University of Warwick) This paper examines the use of moving images as a fruitful source for considering the cultural history of the NHS. It focuses on the film programme of the National Health Campaign of 1948 to argue that these promotional films constructed particular understandings of postwar modernity that coded the individual health […]

Did the government lack ‘common sense’? Coventry’s 1957 Polio Epidemic

Gareth Millward (Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM) The arrival of Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine in 1955 had given public health officials a major boost in the fight against polio. But in Britain, concerns its safety had led to supply problems. In the middle of this crisis, Coventry suffered one of its worst ever […]

Developing health – the health of development: Health and the making of the Millennium Development Goals

Iris Borowy (Aachen University) For decades, there has been broad consensus that poverty and “underdevelopment” are not good for health but extensive controversy regarding what exactly constitutes “development” and how can it be improved to serve population health. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) evolved through a competition between two perspectives on development: one that sees […]

Venereological education among medical undergraduates in England, 1890-1914

Anne Hanley (New College, University of Oxford) In 1867 James Lane and George Gascoyen, surgeons to the London Lock Hospital, compiled a report on their experiments with a new and controversial treatment. The procedure, known as ‘syphilisation’, saw patients be inoculated with infective matter taken from a primary syphilitic ulcer or the artificial sores produced […]

Recent cannabis policy experiments in the USA: What are they and what are their implications?

Wayne Hall, Professor of Addiction Policy (National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, and Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research University of Queensland) This paper describes the recent proposals to legalise recreational cannabis use in the USA. It places them within a historical context of trends in cannabis use among young people in developed countries like […]

VACCINATION – PAST & PRESENT

           A half-day symposium by the Vaccine Centre and Centre for History in Public Health With guest speakers Anne Hardy, Dora Vargha, Tracey Chantler and Pauline Paterson Anne Hardy is an honorary professor at the Centre for History in Public Health and will be speaking about smallpox vaccination in the 19th century. […]

Misfits of deinstitutionalisation ? How competing ideologies contributed to chaotic service provision for mentally-ill criminal offenders in Auckland, New Zealand, 1972-1988

  Kate Prebble, PhD and Claire Gooder, PhD (School of Nursing, University of Auckland) Mentally-ill criminal offenders have historically been shunted between justice and health systems. In Aotearoa/New Zealand in the late-20th century, fluctuating policy positions had devastating consequences for forensic psychiatric patients, their families and members of the public.  Murders by ex-psychiatric patients, deaths […]

Improving maternal health on a global scale: A historic perspective on the work of WHO and partners

  Julianne Weis (University of Oxford, Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine) The Millennium Development goals expire this year (2015). Some goals, including achieving universal primary education, are on track to be reached, while others, most notoriously MDG 5, to improve maternal health, is lagging far behind. Huge gains in reducing maternal mortality have […]

Psychiatric Pasts: Looking Back in Female Sexual Dysfunction and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuals

  Katherine Angel (Queen Mary University of London) Female Sexual Dysfunction’ is a term that was introduced into the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) in its third edition of 1980. The DSM-III is widely glossed as having marked a turning away from psychoanalytic psychiatry in the United States, and towards a newly […]

Feminism, Femininity, and (In)Fertility: Popular Discourses on Gender and Reproduction in the 1970s Britain and Beyond

  Tracey Loughran (Cardiff University) During the 1970s, second wave feminists argued that control of reproduction was essential to women’s liberation. In practice, however, feminist assertions of ‘the right to choose’ usually focussed on the right not to have children. The feminist press rarely engaged with infertility in the 1970s. Individual feminists reported uncomprehending, unsympathetic, […]

Shadows of concern. Mammography and breast cancer diagnosis post-1950

  Yolanda Eraso (London Metropolitan University) This paper will discuss historical developments of breast cancer diagnosis from the 1950s onwards, with particular focus on mammography and the emergence of new ‘signs’ related to the disease such as microcalcifications and breast density. It will analyse how radiological images, pathologists’ classifications and methods of standardisation (BI-RADS) have […]

Representations of the Great Stink of 1858 in Punch

  Clare Horrocks (Liverpool John Moores University) Mr Punch’s consistent campaign for sanitary reform from 1841 to 1858 and the year of the Great Stink addressed an issue that many of the middle classes were unwilling to confront or discuss.  The magazine’s verbal visual wit challenges definitions of comedy and humour with its more ludic […]

Making a technology of public health: folic acid and pre-conceptional nutrition in Britain in the 1980s and 1990s

  Salim Al-Gailani (Cambridge University) Since the early-1990s, governments and health organizations around the world have encouraged women to make sure they get enough of the B-vitamin folic acid before and during pregnancy. The expert consensus is that women with diets deficient in folic acid are at increased risk of bearing a child with a […]

The Globalization of Chronic Disease

  George Weisz (McGill University) In Chronic Disease in the 20th Century: A History (2014), I argue that “chronic disease” as a central policy concept (lumping together numerous disparate conditions) developed in the United States in the early 20th century, reaching a peak in the 1950s and 1960s. European nations tended to be concerned with specific […]

‘Challenging the stereotype of the mamma italiana. Second-wave feminist approaches to maternity and childbirth in Italy’

  Andrea Hajek (University of Glasgow) One of the most common stereotypes about Italy is that of la mamma, the mother. In spite of a steadily declining birth rate, the myth of the mother continues to be strong, due in part to the Fascist idea that maternity was woman’s natural destiny, an idea which was […]

Cannabis policy experiments in the USA and Uruguay: What are they? What are their implications?

  Wayne Hall (Professor of Addiction Policy, National Addiction Centre, Kings College London, and, Director, Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research, University of Queensland) My paper will describe the recent policy experiments to legalise the recreational use of cannabis in two states in the USA – Colorado and Washington – and in Uruguay. It places […]

Hiding in the Pub to Cutting the Cord? Men’s involvement in childbirth since the 1950s in Britain

  Laura King (University of Leeds) Once deemed ‘unmanly’, the presence of men at their children’s births is now understood to be near essential.  Whilst the Daily Mail in 1960 noted that ‘One in ten fathers is now in at the birth’, and a BBC programme of 1964 suggested a husband’s presence could bring about […]

Who speaks about illness? A long history of Migraine

  Katherine Foxhall (University of Leicester) Migraine is an extremely common disorder; it affects around 15% of women, and 6% of men. It is included by the WHO in its Top 20 causes of years lived with disability, but is widely under-diagnosed and under-treated. In this seminar I look at the long history of migraine. […]

When polio became global: a pre-history of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

(Joint with the Vaccine Centre) Dora Vargha (Postdoctoral Research Associate, Birkbeck, University of London) Although the Global Polio Eradication Initiative was launched in 1988, the idea of eradicating the disease appeared already in the late 1950s. In 1959 Mikhail Chumakov, Soviet colleague of Albert Sabin advocated the new oral live virus polio vaccine as capable […]

A seminar on the ethics and pragmatics of policies towards the use of ‘e cigarettes’

  Professor Wayne Hall (University of Queensland, Australia) Should Australia lift its ban on electronic nicotine devices? Reflections on the ethics and implications of Australian policy debates Over the past 30 years the daily smoking prevalence among Australian adults has declined to 16% thanks to: higher tobacco taxes; bans on cigarette advertising; smoke-free policies in […]

‘Bad Science?: The challenges of UK specialist reporting and the future of science, health, and environment news’

Andy Williams (Cardiff University) Science news is not formed in a social, economic, or cultural vacuum. It is written by people at news organisations which are cutting staff and investing fewer resources into news production than previously. Full discussions of science news in the UK must be situated in the context of the economic and […]

‘Entangled Histories: The foundation and early establishment of public health institutions in Britain and Europe around 1900’

  Axel Huentelmann (Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet) In the decades around 1900 a variety of public health and bacterio­logical research institutions had been founded all over the (West­ern) world: the Prussian Institute for Infectious Diseases, a net­work of (French) Pasteur Institutes, the Liverpool and London School of Tropical Medicine (and Hygiene), the Institute for Preventive Health¾to […]

What have we learned about the adverse health effects of cannabis use in the past 20 years?

  Wayne Hall (The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research) This paper discusses what research has shown about the adverse health effects of cannabis in the past 20 years. In 1994 there were very few epidemiological studies of the health effects of cannabis and the literature was dominated by (1) animal studies of the […]

‘..such a fine net that no individual can fall through it from good health into ill health’. The campaign for Social Medicine in Britain during the 1940s’

  Sheena Evans (Senior Visiting Scholar of Murray Edwards College, Cambridge) Very little has been written about the campaign for social medicine in the early period of the 1940s. What there is tends to cover the limited field of medical education. In fact, the campaign was much broader than that, and its lasting effect was […]

‘“It’s a truism that public health is a purchasable commodity”: Municipal healthcare in Inter-war Belfast’

  Sean Lucey (Queen’s University Belfast) Municipal medicine and public health has been seen as a failure in Belfast and Northern Ireland/ North of Ireland prior to the introduction of the National Health Service. The recent British historiography on the performance of public health providers, particularly in the municipal sectors, has challenged similar negative understandings. […]

From Ague to Pyrexia and from Smallpox to Heart Disease: A General Overview of Causes of Death in Scotland 1855-1955

  Eilidh Garrett (Cambridge University) (Click here for abstract) Click here for podcast Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm Venue: Lucas Room, Keppel Street Building

Producing a Population Laboratory: The Khanna Study, Harvard School of Public Health and the ‘Epidemiology of Population’. 1953-1960

  Rebecca Williams (Warwick University) (Click here for abstract) Click here for podcast Wednesday, 4th December 2013, 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm Venue: Jerry Morris B, Tavistock Place

Why NGOs Fail at Preventing Sex Trafficking in Mainland Southeast Asia

Trude Jacobsen (Northern Illinois University) (Click here for abstract)  Click here for podcast 27th November 2013

Why did infants die in the city? The different mortality experience of infants and foundings in Madrid in the early 20th century

  Barbara Revuelta Eugercios (Institute National d’Etudes Demographiques (INED), Paris)   Click here for podcast 20th November 2013 12.45 pm-2.00 pm

The Origins of Rapid Population Growth in Great Lakes East Africa

  Shane Doyle (Leeds University) (Click here for abstract) Click here for podcast Wednesday, 6th November 2013, 12.45 pm – 2.00 pm Venue: Jerry Morris B, Tavistock Place

Infant Mortality by Social Status in Georgian London

  The Centre for History in Public Health and the Population Studies Group presents: A Seminar Series in Historical Demography Romola Davenport (Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure) (Click here for abstract) Click here for podcast 23rd October 2013

Fathers and Childbirth

  The Centre for History in Public Health presents: (Joint seminar with the MARCH Centre) Linda Bryder (Auckland University) (Click here for abstract) Click here for podcast 8th October 2013

Exploring possible futures of Tobacco Control in Austrialia: High tech, low tech and no tech

  (Joint seminar with the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour) Wayne Hall (NHMRC Australia Fellow, and Coral Gartner, NHMRC Post-doctoral Fellow, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research)  podcast 1 May 2013

A Genealogy of the Gift: Blood Donation and Altruism in an Age of Strangers

  Nick Whitfield (McGill University) abstract 7th March 2013

Urban hospitals before the NHS: finance, specialisation and integration in provincial England

  Barry Doyle (University of Huddersfield)) abstract podcast 6th February 2013

Preventing tuberculosis using mass radiography – an outstanding success or an anti-social failure

  (Joint seminar with the TB Centre) Clare Leeming Latham (Birmingham University) abstract  30th January 2013

“A mere ritual or incantation?”: Developing local disinfection policy in late nineteenth century England

  Rebecca Whyte (University of Cambridge) abstract podcast 23rd January 2013

Did we really want a National Health Service? Popular Opinion and Patients’ Views on Existing Voluntary Hospital Provision

  (Joint seminar with PHP Health Systems and Policy) Nick Hayes (Nottingham Trent University) abstract podcast 16th January 2013

Pubs and Patriots: The Drink Crisis during the First World War

  Robert Duncan abstract  podcast 21st November 2012

Breaking the Monopoly System: American influence on the British decision to prohibit opium smoking and end its Asian monopolies, 1939-1943

  John Collins (London School of Economics) abstract podcast 31st October 2012

Moderate Drinking Before The Unit: Medicine and Life Assurance in Britain and the US, c.1860-1930

  James Kneale (University College London) abstract  podcast 24th October 2012

W(h)ither International Drug Control? Learning from the UNGASS Decade

  (Joint seminar with the Centre for Research on Drugs and Health Behaviour) David Bewley-Taylor (Swansea University) abstract  podcast 10 October 2012