Department of History and Philosophy of Science

History of Medicine

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science is a major centre for research, teaching and public engagement in history of medicine.

Detail of a marble bust of the anatomist Wilhelm His holding a model embryo

Making Visible Embryos: an online exhibition on the history of embryo images

The distinctive feature of our programme is that medical historians work in the largest and most distinguished department of history and philosophy of science in the UK. So students and researchers can both focus on history of medicine and take advantage of intellectual exchange with historians of physical sciences, sociologists and philosophers of science, staff in the Whipple Museum and bioethicists.

Expertise in medical history covers an exceptionally wide range, from antiquity to the present day. We are especially interested in encouraging work on Generation to Reproduction. This is the theme of a Wellcome Trust strategic award held for seven years from 1 October 2009 by a cross-disciplinary group of Cambridge historians of medicine. The research will provide fresh perspectives on issues ranging from ancient fertility rites to IVF. A strongly grounded account, building on a lively field of historical investigation, will offer a fresh basis for policy and public debate.

The Department provides training in history of medicine at every level. We also welcome inquiries about postdoctoral research, including Wellcome research fellowships, short-term visits and affiliated research scholar status.

Ucam-histmed is an email list for people in the Cambridge area interested in history of medicine. To subscribe, please visit the Ucam-histmed information page.

History of Medicine news

February 2015

Junior Research Fellowship
Anne Hanley, who recently finished a PhD in the History Faculty, has been appointed to a Junior Research Fellowship at New College, Oxford.

January 2015

Research Fellowships
Jesse Olszynko-Gryn and Sarah Bull have been awarded Wellcome Trust research fellowships.

January 2015

New lecturer
Mary Brazelton will be taking up the new lectureship in Global Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine from September 2015.

History of Medicine events

4 February – 11 March 2015

Reproduction on Film: Outlaws

24–25 September 2015

Conference: Reproduction on Film