Seminar: An Authoritarian History of International Health: Public Health and International Expertise in Franco’s Spain

David Brydan (Birkbeck, University of London) This history of international health has tended to focus on the work of international organisations, western philanthropic groups, and experts from the liberal states of Europe and North America. Liberal internationalists undoubtedly played a key role in the modern history of international health, but they only form part of […]

Seminar – Negotiating immunity: Mass vaccination in modern China and East Asia, 1945-75

Mary Brazelton (University of Cambridge) This paper surveys mass immunization programs across East Asia after the Second World War, with a focus on the People’s Republic of China (PRC). After 1949, the newly established PRC provided mandatory, universal, and free vaccination in nation-wide campaigns against a variety of diseases, including but not limited to smallpox […]

Seminar – Chaos on the Ground: schistosomiasis control in China, 1950-1964

Xun Zhou (University of Essex) The anti-schistosomiasis campaign (from 1950s to the long 1970s) in Mao’s China was the most celebrated showcase of the People’s Republic of China’s socialist war on diseases. It was the epitome of the communist state’s political commitment to transform the backward (synonymous as the diseased) countryside through education as well […]

Seminar: How is Australia responding to calls to allow medical uses of cannabis?

Wayne Hall (Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research (CYSAR), University of Queensland) There is reasonable evidence that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, is moderately effective in treating nausea and vomiting and in stimulating appetite adversely affected by disease or medical treatment. There is also some evidence that cannabinoids are effective in treating acute and […]

Seminar: Fighting Fire with Fire. The Danysz Virus, Plague Prevention and early 20th century Epidemiology

Lukas Engelmann (University of Edinburgh) In 1890, the physician and pioneer bacteriologist Friedrich Loeffler of the German hygienic institute in Greifswald observed a strange pattern of high mortality in his white research mice. Experiments exposed a new bacterial agent, in shape and appearance similar to bacillus typhi, but seemingly harmless to most organisms except small […]

Seminar: HIV and AIDS in English and Irish prisons: a policy overview

Virginia Berridge and Janet Weston (Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM) 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 […]

First Time Around: The Rise and Fall of ‘Universal Health Coverage’ as a Goal of International Health Politics, 1942–1952

Martin Gorsky and Christopher Sirrs, Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM Universal health coverage (UHC) remains a key ambition of international health in the twenty-first century, though the means to achieve it, especially in low-income countries (LICs), is still hotly debated. The UN Sustainable Development Goals of 2015 have presented a fresh opportunity to […]

Management and Construction of the Spanish hospital system from the perspective of economic history: between public and private sectors

Jerònia Pons-Pons (Universidad de Sevilla) and Margarita Vilar-Rodriguez (Universidad de A Coruña) This paper aims to analyze the historical construction of the network of health infrastructures in Spain during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975) from very different areas both public and private. The first part provides a first statistical progress of the major infrastructure before approving […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Pioneers of Medicine? Take a walk around the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

  Ros Stanwell Smith invites you to walk around the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Keppel Street, in the part of London’s West End known as Bloomsbury. She points out the names of famous heroes of public health inscribed on the School building, as well as discussing some who have different links […]

‘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 […]

‘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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Civilian Disabled: War and its role in the disability rights movement, Gareth Millward, Centre for History in Public Health, LSHTM

Hosted by London School Library and Archives and the International Centre for Evidence in Disability – in the series Improving health in wartime exhibition events Date: Friday 19 September 2014 Time: 12:45 pm – 1:45 pm Venue: Manson Lecture Theatre, LSHTM, Keppel Street, London, WC1E 7HT, UK Type of event: Seminar Speaker(s): Gareth Millward, London […]

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 […]

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

The 40th anniversary of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in July 2014 offers an unprecedented opportunity to illuminate the contemporary history of ‘health and safety’ in Britain: a field of profound significance not only to the health and wellbeing of workers, but to members of the public who can be injured or […]

‘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 […]

Virginia Berridge, Demons: Our attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs

  Virginia Berridge, Demons: Our Attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and drugs (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). Tabloid headlines attack the binge drinking of young women. Debates about the classification of cannabis continue, while major public health campaigns seek to reduce and ultimately eliminate smoking through health warnings and legislation. But the history of public health […]

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

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

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