Vaccinating Britain

Gareth Millward, University of Warwick. I finished the manuscript to my new book on vaccination in late 2017. It was the culmination of my work at the Centre on Alex Mold’s Placing the Public in Public Health project. Thankfully, nothing interesting has happened on the subject since then. Ah. Well, as any historian will tell you, […]

Remembering Rodney Lowe (1946-2018)

Martin Gorsky writes: Here in the Centre we were sorry to hear about the death on 1st December 2018 of our friend Rodney Lowe.  He was Emeritus Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Bristol and had been one of the first external members and supporters of our Centre.  Rodney was a contemporary historian […]

Part 2 – Centenary of the Armistice: what should we remember?

No Peace without Social Justice. By Martin Gorsky, Professor of History. I talked in my first blog for the Armistice about the importance of understanding the feelings of ordinary soldiers who served in the First World War.  On Remembrance Sunday a film was televised that allowed us to do just that, Peter Jackson’s They Shall […]

Part 1 – Centenary of the Armistice: what should we remember?

1.  Dulce et Decorum Est. By Martin Gorsky, Professor of History. In a year of big anniversaries – the NHS, Alma Ata, birth of the WHO – November 2018 brings the centenary of the armistice that marked the end of the First World War.  For us in the London School this one matters every bit […]

Review of the New Zealand Health System Announced.

Dr Hayley Brown, Research Fellow, discusses the newly announced review of the New Zealand health system. In May of this year, NZ Minister of Health David Clark announced a review of the New Zealand health system which will be headed by Heather Simpson who is known in the capital Wellington as ‘H2’ due to her […]

Introducing new research: measuring mental capacity.

Dr Janet Weston, Research Fellow, introduces her three year Wellcome Trust fellowship entitled ‘Measuring Mental Capacity: A History’ . Internationally and nationally, mental capacity is on the agenda. Formal assessments of mental capacity determine whether adults should make decisions regarding their own personal and financial lives, and this is increasingly controversial and complex. States find […]

History Centre Annual Lecture Blog on – ‘Cultured Comparisons: The Role of the NHS in US Healthcare Debates’ – Roberta Bivins

Professor Martin Gorsky, Health Systems in History: Ideas, comparisons, policies c. 1890-2000, Centre for History in Public Health.   Last month Professor Roberta Bivins from the University of Warwick gave our annual History Centre lecture – ‘Cultured Comparisons: The Role of the NHS in US Healthcare Debates’.  This was a fascinating insight for those of […]

History Centre visit to University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Dr John Manton, Assistant Professor, Health Systems in History: Ideas, comparisons, policies c. 1890-2000, Centre for History in Public Health. Centre members Martin Gorsky and John Manton visited Ibadan in Nigeria for ten days in October, where they were hosted at the University of Ibadan by IFRA-Nigeria. The visit enabled Dr Manton to follow up […]

Symposium Review: Entwined Health System Histories: New Zealand and Britain Since 1938

[SlideDeck2 id=3574] Penthouse suite, New Zealand High Commission and views over London   Dr Hayley Brown, Research Fellow, Health Systems in History: Ideas, Comparisons, Policies c.1890 – 2000, Centre for History in Public Health. On Tuesday 24 October 2017 the Centre for History in Public Health (LSHTM) and the University of Auckland, with sponsorship from […]

New Blog – Conference report: “The Governance of Health: Historical Perspectives on Medical, Managerial and Economics Influence on Health Policy-Making”

Chris Sirrs, Research Assistant on the ‘Health Systems in History: Ideas, Comparisons, Policies’ project. “The Governance of Health: Historical Perspectives on Medical, Managerial and Economics Influence on Health Policy-Making” 11-12 July 2017, Liverpool Medical Institution (LMI), Liverpool. In the highly complex health systems of the early twenty-first century, professional expertise and power is not merely […]

Health Humanities Workshop

Alex Mold, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Centre for History in Public Health On 1 June 2017, the Centre for History in Public Health organised a one day workshop on the theme of health humanities.  A group of researchers from across the School came together to consider the meaning of health humanities and how this […]

New staff member: Hayley Brown: ‘‘Progressives to laggards’? Health system reform in Britain and New Zealand, 1948-1993’

Dr Hayley Brown, Research Fellow, joins the History Centre working on the project ‘‘Progressives to laggards’? Health system reform in Britain and New Zealand, 1948-1993’ as part of Martin Gorsky’s Wellcome funded project, ‘Health Systems in History: Ideas, Comparisons, Policies c.1890-2000’. At the beginning of June I joined the Centre for History in Public Health […]

Placing the Emotion in Public Health

Dr Hannah Elizabeth Kershaw, Research Assistant on Placing the Public in Public Health at the Centre for History in Public Health. On the 27th of March I officially joined Alex Mold’s Placing the Public in Public Health team in the Centre for History in Public Health to work as a research assistant highlighting the place […]

Building a Conference: The EAHMH, Bucharest 2017

Anne Hardy, Honorary Professor, History of Public Health, Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM. The European Association for the History of Health and Medicine arranges a bi-annual conference in alternate years, either side of the Society for the Social History of Medicine conferences. The EAHMH Scientific Board (SB) met in London, at the LSHTM […]

Catching up with the Prisons Project

Janet Weston: Research Fellow, HIV/AIDS in prisons in England and Ireland, 1980s-2000 at the Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM. Our history of healthcare in prisons project has now been up and running for some time, and the rapidly expanding team got together in late March to catch up on progress and review our […]

The evolution of humanitarianism throughout historical conflict

Editors note:   This blog was first published on the 31st October 2016 on the Humanitarian Crisis Centre website.  Contributing authors are Anne Hardy, Honorary Professor of the History of Public Health, John Manton, Assistant Professor,  Erin Lafferty, Public Engagement Coordinator and Karl Blanchet, Lecturer. Though much focus is currently on humanitarianism in response to […]

A Short History of NICE

Virginia Berridge. The Centre’s annual lecture, in November 2016, was on the history of NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence, now the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NIHCE). Nicholas Timmins, a health journalist and Senior Fellow  at the Kings Fund, together with Sir Michael Rawlins, former Chair of NICE, and John Appleby, have […]

“I go when I go, don’t I?”: health promotion on film in the long 1980s – CHIPH film evening, November 2016

Peder Clark. “I go when I go, don’t I?” was not, as Professor Hilary Graham quipped, a reference to frequency or otherwise of toilet breaks. Instead, it was an expression of fatalism by a young man in the 1987 ITV documentary Lessons for the Living, indifferent to attempts by health workers in Sheffield to advise […]

Working with the Cultural History of the NHS Project

Daisy Payling. Over the last term, members of the ‘Placing the Public in Public Health’ team have twice had the pleasure of working with researchers from the Cultural History of the NHS project, based at the University of Warwick. On 22nd September, we held a workshop here at the School loosely themed around how people […]

Donald Henderson and the Smallpox Eradication Programme

Gareth Millward.  Donald “D.A.” Henderson passed away earlier this year. Visitors to the School can see his name on the plaque in the reception area of the Keppel Street building. Often historians of medicine would be wary of claims of “Great Men” who were ‘largely responsible for the success of the World Health Organisation’s Smallpox […]

Accounting for Health: Economic Practices and Medical Knowledge, 1500–1970

Chris Sirrs How do countries know how much they are spending on health care? What proportion of this money comes from the public sector, and what proportion is private – for example investment in hospital facilities by private organisations, or out-of-pocket spending by households? Often, figures are banded around by the media, politicians and interest […]

On Call in Africa

Gareth Millward Earlier this year, we had the pleasure of welcoming Dr Tony Jewell to present at the Centre’s seminar series. Given his past as Chief Medical Officer for Wales, one might have expected a public health talk. Instead, he came to talk about his grandfather’s work in early twentieth-century East Africa. The source of […]

Seeking Legitimacy: Conference Report by Daisy Payling

On 20-21st June, I had an opportunity to return to Birmingham where I completed my PhD research, to attend the Seeking Legitimacy workshop on authority and expertise in modern Britain. The workshop was aimed at postgraduates and researchers in the first few years of their careers and picked up on one of the themes highlighted […]

Concepts of Addictive Substances and Behaviours across Time and Place; new book published from ALICE RAP European initiative on addiction and lifestyle

Virginia Berridge Matilda Hellman, Virginia Berridge, Karen Duke, and Alex Mold (eds) Concepts of Addictive Substances and Behaviours Across Time and Place, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2016. This book, published in February 2016, is the fourth in a series of six books arising out of ALICE RAP (Addictions and Lifestyles in Contemporary Europe-Reframing Addictions Project). It drew […]

Sex, Drugs and HIV/AIDS in Prison

Janet Weston Wellcome Library, London As I arrived at the Centre in March, David Cameron had recently made his widely-reported speech on the subject of prison reform. Prisons, as Cameron was at pains to point out, are rarely a popular topic for politicians. For historians, on the other hand, they’re probably more appealing. They can […]

Conferences report, John Manton

‘Cultural performance from HOMSEA Conference, Siem Reap, Cambodia, Jan 2016’ While travelling to carry out archival research in The Philippines in January and February 2016, I took the opportunity to attend two conferences, a workshop, and a symposium, giving papers at two of these events, and facilitating a public engagement session at a third. The […]

ALICE RAP A-Debate: U-Turn on Addictions?

Report by Alex Mold What does the concept of ‘addiction’ mean? Is drug use a legacy of our past? Which drugs cause the most harm, and to who? These were just some of the questions debated at the ALICE RAP A-Debate in Barcelona, 17-18 February 2016. The event represented the culmination of the five-year Addiction […]

Book Launch: Making the Patient Consumer: Patient Organisations and Health Consumerism in Britain

Alex Mold In November, Alex Mold launched her latest book.  Making the Patient Consumer: Patient Organisations and Health Consumerism in Britain is based on research Alex conducted as part of a Wellcome Trust University Award.  The book, published by Manchester University Press, is the first empirical, historical account of a fundamental shift in modern British […]

A Global Perspective on the History of Health Systems

Chris Sirrs As my PhD research on health and safety comes to an end, I am delighted to be staying on at the Centre, as Research Assistant on Dr Martin Gorsky’s Wellcome Trust Investigator Award, ‘Health Systems in History: Ideas, Comparisons, Policies’. Over the next three years, I will be grappling with a subject that […]

Health, Self and Surveys: Finding the Public in Public Health Surveys – new Research Fellow Daisy Payling

Daisy Payling I recently started as a research fellow on Alex Mold’s Placing the Public in Public Health project. In it, we are investigating how the concept of “the public” was framed within health across the post-war period. My specific focus is on health surveys; on the growth of the survey as a tool to […]

Health and development in history: from disease control to health systems – new Lecturer John Manton

John Manton From its foundation in 1932, and especially after the end of World War Two in 1945, the Leprosy Centre at Uzuakoli, Nigeria, was a medical site of global significance, offering home and shelter to its rejected residents, and carrying out groundbreaking research into dapsone and clofazimine, drugs still used to treat leprosy. The […]

Binkie meets the tsar

Gareth Millward Ronald Ross is sat down next to his wife, Rosa. She is holding a stuffed dog. And they are playing a parlour game with three of their guests – what will malaria research look like in 2015? And how would we get there? One of the advantages of working in a place like […]

RESAW – The History of the Internet (Conference Report)

Gareth Millward Back in June, I attended the RESAW conference in Aarhus, Denmark. It was an international gathering of scholars, archivists and practitioners working with material archived from the internet. Since then, I’ve written about various aspects of dealing with web-based sources, including the lack of an established research practice and the exciting-but-methodologically-impractical nature of […]

Evidence and policy: what we need is a more intelligent politics

  A new special edition of the Academy of Social Sciences’ journal Contemporary Social Science focuses on international insights into the relationship between evidence and policy, with examples from countries including Australia, India, Estonia and Italy. The importance of context Politicians commonly cite comparative evidence to support their policy proposals but without paying enough attention […]

Modern British Studies Conference 2015, Birmingham

The Modern British Studies Conference took place in Birmingham earlier this month. Its mission was to bring together scholars working on humanities projects around modern Britain. And, perhaps most importantly, to sketch out what exactly “Modern British Studies” is. What sort of time periods? What disciplines? Who will be part of this, where is it […]

Working with Nineteenth-Century Medical and Health Periodicals: Conference Report

Organised in conjunction with two Oxford based projects, one on the ‘Diseases of Modern Life’ and the other on ‘Constructing Scientific Communities’, this one day conference probed the meaning, value and content of the nineteenth century medical periodical. With panels on methods; the periodical and its audiences; women in medical periodicals; as well as libraries […]

BSE: A medical and political crisis?

While the “BSE crisis” was not a specific event that can be pinned down to a particular day or year, it was one of the stories on the news that I remember vividly as a kid. Concerns had been raised about the safety of food in the past – such as salmonella in eggs1 – […]

Conference Report: AAHM New Haven, May 2015

At their annual conference in New Haven, CT the American Association for the History of Medicine (AAHM) celebrated its 90th birthday. Back in 1925 it would have been almost impossible for me to go: transatlantic travel took weeks not hours; the history of medicine was in its infancy and few (if any) women were working […]

Back in time for dinner – history and food

What we eat and how we eat has changed over time. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, but the recent BBC series Back in Time for Dinner brought this concept home – literally – to the Robshaw family. The premise of the show was relatively simple. Using the National Food Survey to direct […]

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI)

Poliomyelitis is, sadly, still with us. But since 1988, global action on the disease has reduced the number of cases from an estimated 350,000 to just 445 in 2013.1 This is pretty remarkable for a disease that only reached epidemic proportions in the twentieth century, and with a vaccine that was developed as recently as […]

Who deserves a blue plaque?

The History Centre at LSHTM is located in a building in Tavistock Place, about 10 minutes walk from the main School building in Keppel Street.   Tavistock Place is close to Marchmont Street, a bustling shopping street with a lively local community. We researched the history of the building and developed cordial relations with the local […]

The Sorrows of Salad

Having spent four months working on a paper on salads, food poisoning and public health, I heard of the publication of Joanna Blythman’s Swallow This on BBC Radio 4’s Food Programme the other week with a  mixture of anxiety and anticipation. I need not have worried: Blythman’s topic is the iniquities of the food industries, […]

Gone for a while but not forgotten: the Dr. John Snow memorial pump on Broadwick Street

The pump replica on Broadwick Street, Soho has been removed because of long-term building works, which are scheduled to take 18 months. Broadwick Street was at the centre of the famous outbreak of cholera in 1854. It was named ‘Broad Street’ at that time and a model of the pump was erected there in 1992. […]

London’s Pulse and the challenge of big data

In my project, Metropolitan Medical Officers, I am working with the annual reports of the London Medical Officers of Health. The Wellcome Library have recently digitised the entire run of these reports, from 1848 to 1972, to create their London’s Pulse resource. These reports are packed with detail about the life of a capital city […]