Promoting and undertaking high quality research in order to contribute to the development of the historical discipline and to historical understanding in the field of public health policy.

Welcome to the Centre for History in Public Health

The Centre for History in Public Health (CHiPH) is engaged in high quality research and teaching which contributes historical understanding to key areas of contemporary concern, especially regarding health systems, public health and communicable and non-communicable diseases in Britain, Europe and internationally. Its location within a multidisciplinary public health institution is unique and keeps it firmly in the forefront of historical research into public health and health services. Historical research is of central relevance to an understanding of public health in the present. Current developments cannot be understood without a knowledge of the past. The Centre reaches across the LSHTM in all its activities and many are conducted jointly with other Centres in the School.

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Our research spans both public health and health services and their twentieth and twenty first century history. Other research focuses on substance use and on historical demography.

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Medicine, the Penal System and Sexual Crimes in England, 1919-1960s Diagnosing Deviance by Janet Weston

Sexual crime, past and present, is rarely far from the headlines. How these crimes are punished, policed and understood has changed considerably over the last century. From hormone injections to cognitive behavioural therapy, medical and psychological approaches to sexual offenders have proliferated. This book sets out the history of such theories and treatments in England. Beginning in the early 20th century, it traces the evolution of medical interest in the mental state of those convicted of sexual crime. As part of a broader interest in individualised responses to crime as a means to rehabilitation, doctors offered new explanations for some sexual crimes, proposed new solutions, and attempted to deliver new cures. From indecent exposure to homosexuality between men, from sadistic violence to thefts of underwear from washing lines, the interpretation and treatment of some sexual offences was thought to be complex. Of less medical interest, though, were offences against children, prostitution, and rape.

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A History of Public Health in Post-War Britain: Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Free online course on the history of public health in Britain Understand where public health has come from, why it looks the way it does today and where it might go next.

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Featured Podcast: Virginia Berridge and Janet Weston: HIV and AIDS in English and Irish prisons: a policy overview

The emergence of HIV and AIDS in the 1980s presented unexpected challenges to governments around the world, prompting urgent debate about the role of the state in protecting the health of its citizens. Quarantines, national surveillance, mandatory testing, large-scale health education initiatives, and the (de)criminalisation of behaviours associated with HIV infection were just a few of the issues that were raised. For prisons, which were quickly identified as high prevalence and high risk environments for HIV and AIDS, such concerns were magnified and distorted. Health promotion and medical interventions were not their first priority, but how far should prisons go, in the shadow of a new and deadly epidemic, to protect the lives of their residents? Policies regarding HIV antibody testing, the management and care of prisoners identified as having HIV or AIDS, and access to condoms, counselling, sterile injecting equipment, and addiction treatment for all inmates were potentially in need of resolution. This paper considered...

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