Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Animals emerging from an egg

Generation to Reproduction: a Wellcome Trust strategic award supports research on the history of reproduction

News

Forthcoming event

A Festival of Ideas debate, 'Is menstruation healthy?', will be held on 22 October 2014 at Pembroke College.

Con/Tested

September 2014

Con/Tested: Sperm Science, Sterility and Masculinity was held on 11–12 September 2014 in the Department of Sociology. The conference was organised by Liberty Barnes (Department of Sociology) and Christina Benninghaus (Department of History and Philosophy of Science).

An article about the conference – 'Tiny sperm, big stories' – is on the University's research website.

Jenny Bangham wins Marc-Auguste Pictet Prize

August 2014

Many congratulations to Jenny Bangham, who has been awarded the 2014 Marc-Auguste Pictet Prize in the history of the life sciences in the twentieth century for her PhD thesis, written in HPS, on 'Blood groups and the rise of human genetics in mid-twentieth-century Britain'. The jury said that the thesis 'makes a very significant contribution to our understanding of the history of genetics and, more generally, to the history of the material culture of science'.

Now at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Jenny is also an affiliated research scholar in HPS. She will receive the prize and give a lecture at a ceremony in Geneva.

Congratulations to Ayesha Nathoo

August 2014

Many congratulations to Ayesha Nathoo, who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship to work for three years from 1 October 2014 at the Centre for Medical History, University of Exeter on 'Cultivating Relaxation in Twentieth-Century Britain'. Ayesha will also be a collaborator on the Hubbub project at Wellcome Collection (London) – an exploration of rest and busyness – led by Felicity Callard. Well done!

Extension

August 2014

The Wellcome Trust has approved a further no-cost extension to the Generation to Reproduction strategic award, so the project will now run till 30 September 2016. Many of us are hard at work on a big book to be published by CUP, which will reassess the history of reproduction over the long term, and we plan more events, including a film series in the spring. We will continue the Generation to Reproduction seminars even beyond the end of the award.

Wellcome Trust award for Casebooks Project

June 2014

The Wellcome Trust has made a three-year Strategic Award of just over a million pounds for completion of the Casebooks Project.

Many congratulations to Lauren Kassell and the Casebooks team.

Congratulations

April 2014

Congratulations to Leah Astbury, who has been awarded first prize for her paper on 'Caring for Newborns in Early Modern England' in the Social History Society postgraduate conference paper competition. The prize is worth £200 and the paper will be published online and invited for submission as an article for the Society's journal, Cultural and Social History.

Visions of Science

March 2014

Congratulations to Jim Secord on the publication of Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age (OUP).

Cities and Towns as Epidemiological Drivers

March 2014

A workshop on Cities and Towns as Epidemiological Drivers: Emerging Issues in Urban Historical Demography was held at the Department of Geography on 17–18 March 2014.

Wellcome Lecture

January 2014

'The clinic of the birth: obstetric ultrasound, medical innovation and the clinico-anatomical project', the Ninth Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Professor Malcolm Nicolson (University of Glasgow) on Thursday 16 January 2014. A paper by Professor Nicolson was discussed at a workshop on the same day.

Research fellowship

December 2013

Gabriella Zuccolin, who has been lecturing on medieval medicine this term, has been awarded a three-year Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship to work on a project on 'Women's medicine between script and print, c.1450–1600'. Congratulations!

Reproduction workshop

November 2013

The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum held its ninth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction at CRASSH on 15 November 2013.

Inaugural lecture

October 2013

Professor Sarah Franklin (Department of Sociology) gave her inaugural lecture, 'After IVF: the Reproductive Turn in Social Thought', on 30 October 2013.

Farewell and thanks to Laura Dawes

October 2013

Laura Dawes, who has been events and outreach officer on the Generation to Reproduction project since February, is moving on. Laura will be a visiting scholar at CHSTM in Manchester and then based in the United States, concentrating on her new book on the industrial disease 'phossy jaw' and developing her consultancy work in science writing and historical research. Many thanks to Laura for her contributions to the project.

History of Medicine at the Festival of Ideas

October 2013

The Generation to Reproduction project presented a debate – Can Europe reproduce itself? Debating Europe's fertility – on 28 October 2013. Rebecca Flemming discussed medical ideas in the Greek and Roman worlds in her lecture 'Forging frontiers in classical medicine: exploring the body' on 26 October.

New postdoctoral fellow

September 2013

We welcome Margaret Carlyle, who will be joining the Department as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada) postdoctoral fellow. Margaret received her PhD from McGill University where she wrote on 'Cultures of Anatomy in Enlightenment France (c.1700–1750)'. Her new project in the Department is looking at birthing technologies in Enlightenment France, c.1715–1789. Welcome, Margaret!

Making Love, Making Gender, Making Babies

September 2013

A conference on Making Love, Making Gender, Making Babies in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was held at CRASSH on 6–7 September 2013.

In/Fertility and Sacred Space

July 2013

A conference on In/Fertility and Sacred Space: From Antiquity to the Early Modern was held at CRASSH on 15–16 July 2013.

Notebooks workshop

July 2013

Notebooks, Medicine and the Sciences in Early Modern Europe, the inaugural workshop of the Notebooks Network, was held in the Department on 12–13 July 2013.

Embryos in Wax

June 2013

The Whipple Museum has reprinted Nick Hopwood's Embryos in Wax. This book and others are available by post or via the online ordering system.

New job

June 2013

Congratulations to Jenny Bangham, who has been appointed Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin until April 2016. She will be part of the research group 'Twentieth-Century Histories of Knowledge about Human Variation'.

Born to Rule

June 2013

Born to Rule: Public Lectures on Royal Births in Tudor and Stuart England took place on 18 and 25 June 2013. Audio recordings of the lectures are available online.

Research and teaching positions in history of reproduction

May 2013

Many congratulations to Salim Al-Gailani and Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, who have been appointed to two-year positions supported by the Generation to Reproduction programme and HPS departmental funds. Salim will be Research and Teaching Associate in History of Modern Medical Science. He will contribute to our teaching programme and research the history of folic acid as a technology of pregnancy, with its implications beyond reproduction for the globalization of biomedical knowledge, the management of risk and the role of consumer activism in shaping public health policy. Jesse will be Research Associate in History of Reproduction. He will extend his PhD work by reconstructing the transformation of pregnancy testing from the 1960s, with the replacement of live frogs by laboratory immunoassays and over-the-counter kits, and shifting power relations especially between the women tested, doctors and chemists. We much look forward to the next phases of their associations with the project.

Pregnancy testing – with toads

April 2013

Generation to Reproduction PhD student Jesse Olszynko-Gryn spoke on BBC Radio 4's Making History on the history of pregnancy testing. The piece was broadcast at 3pm on Tuesday 16 April. From about 20.20, Jesse and one of his informants talked to the presenters about pregnancy testing in the 1950s, and how it relied on live toads.

Peter Jones on Fit to Rule

April 2013

Peter Jones appeared on Fit to Rule: How Royal Illness Changed History on BBC Two at 9pm on Monday 8 April. Peter spoke on the reproductive histories of King Henry VIII and Queen Mary.

Vere Harmsworth chair

March 2013

Congratulations to our history of medicine colleague Alison Bashford, who has been elected to the Vere Harmsworth Chair of Imperial and Naval History. Alison took her BA and PhD from the University of Sydney, where she is currently Professor of Modern History. She has published four books, including Purity and Pollution: Gender, Embodiment, and Victorian Medicine (1998), Imperial Hygiene: A Critical History of Colonialism, Nationalism, and Public Health (2004) and Life on Earth: Geopolitics and the World Population Problem (2013), and edited five, including Medicine at the Border: Disease, Globalization and Security, 1850 to the Present (2006) and the Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010). Alison has been a frequent visitor to Britain, and we look forward to more intense intellectual exchange. Her current project concerns the global aspects of Malthus and Malthusianism.

New job

February 2013

Many congratulations to Jenny Rampling, who has been appointed Assistant Professor in History at Princeton University, as part of the Program in History of Science, from January 2014. Jenny has been in the Department since 2006, first as PhD student, then as Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. During that time she has been extremely active, particularly in leading reading groups and organizing seminars, including, with Hasok Chang, the AD HOC Seminar (History of Chemistry) in Cambridge and London.

Reproduction on Film

February 2013

Making Babies, our third 'Reproduction on Film' series, took place at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse from 11 February to 18 March 2013.

Events and outreach officer

February 2013

Please extend a very warm welcome to Dr Laura Dawes, the new events and outreach officer on the Generation to Reproduction project. Laura, who comes to us all the way from Canberra, trained in mathematics and statistics at Murdoch University, and in economic and social history at Oxford, and then completed a PhD in history of medicine at Harvard with a dissertation on childhood obesity. Welcome, Laura!

Creating Life

January 2013

The theme for the 13th Ischia Summer School on the History of the Life Sciences is Creating Life: From Alchemy to Synthetic Biology. The deadline for applications is 15 February. Nick Hopwood co-organizes the school and Peter Murray Jones and Helen Curry are among the faculty.

Research fellowships

January 2013

Congratulations to Valentina Pugliano, who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship to work on 'Nature's old archipelagos: medicine, science and environment in the Venetian Levant, c.1450–1750'. Valentina has recently completed a DPhil at the University of Oxford on 'Botanical artisans: apothecaries and the study of nature in Venice and London, 1550–1610'. Well done, Valentina!

Many congratulations also to Richard McKay, who joins us from King's College London thanks to a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship on 'Before HIV: homosex and venereal disease, c.1939–1984'. The project will explore how, in the middle decades of the twentieth century in Canada, the US and the UK, healthcare workers and other groups became increasingly interested in the role of men who had sex with other men in the transmission of sexually transmitted infections.

Wellcome Lecture

January 2013

'Generatio: medieval debates about procreation, heredity and "bioethics"', the Eighth Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Maaike van der Lugt (Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7 / Institut Universitaire de France) on Thursday 17 January 2013. A paper by Maaike van der Lugt was discussed at a workshop on the same day.

Fictional pregnancies and the test

December 2012

Jesse Olszynko-Gryn contributed the first entry to MaMSIE, a blog that aims at Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics. Jesse discusses representations of early pregnancy in novels and the difference that hormonal tests, invented in the late 1920s, did or did not make.

Congratulations

December 2012

Congratulations to Hannah Newton, whose book The Sick Child in Early Modern England has been shortlisted for the History Today/Longman Book of the Year Prize.

Symposium and lecture

December 2012

Generation and Reproduction in Medieval Europe, a one-day symposium, was held at King's College on 8 December 2012. It was preceded by a lecture given by Marianne Elsakkers (Utrecht) in the Department on 7 December.

Reproduction workshop

November 2012

The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum held its eighth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction at CRASSH on 23 November 2012.

Debating Reproduction

November 2012

Debating Reproduction: Hospital Birth, a Festival of Ideas event about the medical and social issues surrounding the 20th-century 'revolution' in childbirth, was held on 1 November 2012 at the Mill Lane Lecture Rooms.

Registration and Recognition

October 2012

Congratulations to Simon Szreter on the publication of Registration and Recognition: Documenting the Person in World History (OUP/British Academy), co-edited with Keith Breckenridge. Registration has typically been viewed as coercive, and as a product of the rise of the modern European state. This volume shows that the registration of individuals has taken remarkably similar, and interestingly comparable, forms in very different societies across the world. The volume also suggests that registration has many hitherto neglected benefits for individuals, and that modern states have frequently sought to curtail, or avoid responsibility for, it.

New job

October 2012

Congratulations to Vanessa Heggie, who has been appointed to a five-year University Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, which will be succeeded by a permanent position as Senior Lecturer. She will take up the position early in 2013.

Vanessa has been an indispensable member of the teaching and research communities in the Department since 2007, first as a Mellon Teaching Fellow, then as a Wellcome Trust Research Fellow and finally as a Teaching Associate on the 'Generation to Reproduction' Wellcome Strategic Award. We wish her the very best at Birmingham and look forward to continued future collaboration with her and her associates.

New job

October 2012

Shirlene Badger, currently events and outreach officer on the Generation to Reproduction project, has been appointed Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health, starting next month. She will be seconded to the Public Health Genomics Foundation for the first four years, where she will lead their part of the Evaluation and Implementation theme for the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. She will be conducting ethnographic case studies across various teams in order to explore the translation of genetic technologies from research to clinical practice. We are very grateful to Shirlene for her work in HPS this year and wish her the very best in her new position.

PhD studentships

October 2012

Congratulations to Leah Astbury, formerly of the History Faculty now in HPS, who has been awarded a PhD studentship attached to our Wellcome Trust strategic award for a project on motherhood and medicine in early modern England.

A warm welcome also to Caroline Musgrove from Cardiff, who is beginning an AHRC-funded PhD in the Faculty of Classics on 'Women and generation in a world of pagans and Christians'.

History of infertility

September 2012

We welcome Christina Benninghaus from the University of Bielefeld. She has come to work on the making of the experience of infertility in Germany around 1900, with support from a two-year Marie Curie Fellowship from the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

The H Word

August 2012

Vanessa Heggie and Rebekah Higgitt have launched a Guardian blog devoted to history of science. Topical early entries on The H Word include 'Sex testing and the Olympics' and 'The athlete who drank too much Coca-Cola'.

Reproducing China

July 2012

A conference on Reproducing China: Childbirth, One Child, and Beyond was held at CRASSH on 13–14 July 2012.

Making Human Heredity

June 2012

A workshop on Making Human Heredity: Populations and Public Health in the Postwar Era was held in the Department on 28–30 June 2012.

The Sick Child in Early Modern England

April 2012

Congratulations to Hannah Newton on the publication of The Sick Child in Early Modern England, 1580–1720 by Oxford University Press. The book launch was held on 25 April in the Whipple Museum.

Transforming Pregnancy

March 2012

An interdisciplinary conference on Transforming Pregnancy Since 1900 was held in the Department on 29–30 March 2012.

Reproduction on Film

March 2012

Our second 'Reproduction on Film' series, covering the topic of Monstrosity, took place at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse from 27 February to 21 March 2012.

New job

March 2012

Elaine Leong, who currently holds a Wellcome Trust Research Fellowship in the Department, has been awarded a five-year Minerva Professorship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin from September 2012. Many congratulations!

Postdoctoral fellowship

February 2012

Jenny Bangham, who is in the third year of her PhD in HPS, has been awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. She will be working from October, for one year, in the research group 'Historicizing Knowledge about Human Biological Diversity in the 20th Century' directed by Veronika Lipphardt. Well done!

Events and outreach officer

January 2012

Many thanks to Francis Neary for his large contribution to the 'Generation to Reproduction' programme as events and outreach officer over the last two years, including taking the lead in curating the 'Books and Babies' exhibition and running two mini-seasons of films. Francis is going full-time on the Darwin Correspondence Project, so we will stay in touch. Taking over is Dr Shirlene Badger, an experienced sociologist trained at the Centre for Family Research. We are delighted that she is joining the team.

Wellcome Lecture

January 2012

'Revisiting the Mendelian revolution', the Seventh Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Exeter) on Thursday 19 January 2012. A paper by Dr Müller-Wille was discussed at a workshop on the same day.

Communicating Reproduction

December 2011

A conference on Communicating Reproduction was held in the Department on 5–6 December 2011.

Reproduction workshop

November 2011

The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum held its seventh Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction at CRASSH on 18 November 2011.

Debating Reproduction

October 2011

Debating Reproduction: IVF, our first debate on the history of scientific and ethical issues surrounding in vitro fertilisation, took place at Cambridge University Library on 20 October 2011 as part of the Festival of Ideas.

PhD studentships

October 2011

We welcome Ramona Braun (Paris), who has been awarded a Wellcome Trust doctoral studentship to work on 'Laparoscopy in the control of human fertility: practice, instruments and knowledge transfer in British and German gynaecology, 1950–1980'. Congratulations!

A warm welcome also to Anne Hanley (Sydney), who is beginning a PhD in the Faculty of History on venereology in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. She is funded by the Cambridge Trusts and an Allen Cambridge Australia Scholarship.

Simon Forman anniversary

September 2011

September 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of Simon Forman's death. To commemorate this anniversary, his life and writings are featured in 'The Astrologer's Tables', History Today, September 2011.

Lauren Kassell delivered a public lecture on 'Simon Forman: Astrology, Medicine and Quackery in Elizabethan England' on 27 September 2011 at the Museum of the History of Science, University of Oxford: a podcast is available.

Alchemy conference

September 2011

A conference on Alchemy and Medicine from Antiquity to the Enlightenment was held at Peterhouse on 22–24 September 2011.

The Casebooks Project

August 2011

Lauren Kassell and the Casebooks Project team have launched a new website for The Casebooks Project: A Digital Edition of Simon Forman's and Richard Napier's Medical Records 1596–1634.

Books and Babies

July 2011

Books and Babies: Communicating Reproduction, an exhibition supported by our Wellcome Trust strategic award, is on at the University Library until December. Curator Francis Neary said: 'The show is about how people have talked and written about reproduction. We're interested in the link between communication media and this intimate part of our lives that has also been a big public concern.'

BBC News has produced an audio slideshow of images from the exhibition.

Biology and the Public

June 2011

The 12th Ischia Summer School on the History of Life Sciences was about Biology and the Public: Participation and Exclusion from the Renaissance to the Present Day. Nick Hopwood co-organized the school, and Anne and Jim Secord were among the faculty.

Mellon fellowship

May 2011

Many congratulations to Elma Brenner! With the completion of her Wellcome Research Fellowship, she is moving on to a Mellon Fellowship at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto for next academic year. She has also been awarded a one month Dr and Mrs James C. Caillouette Fellowship at the Huntington Library in San Marino.

Teaching associateship

May 2011

Vanessa Heggie has been appointed to a two-year Teaching Associateship in History of Modern Medicine and Biology funded by our Wellcome Trust Strategic Award and departmental funds. Many congratulations!

Wellcome research fellowships

April 2011

Congratulations to Elaine Leong and Hannah Newton, both of whom have been awarded Wellcome Trust research fellowships.

Elaine worked as an Teaching Associate in HPS in 2006–7, then moved to the University of Warwick where she's held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. She will be returning to Cambridge in September 2011 to work on a project titled 'Reading and writing medicine in early modern England'.

Hannah joins HPS in October 2011, to work on a project entitled, '"Better by degrees": recovery from illness in early modern England, c.1580–1720'. She comes from the University of Exeter, where she undertook her PhD on children's medicine in early modern England.

Postdoctoral fellowship

April 2011

Nick Whitfield, who is finishing a PhD in HPS, has been awarded a Government of Canada Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to spend a year from September in the Department of Social Studies of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal. Nick will use the archive of the Canadian communist surgeon Norman Bethune to research his development of a mobile blood transfusion unit during the Spanish Civil War and its role as a model for London's Emergency Blood Transfusion Service. Congratulations!

Workshops

April 2011

A workshop on Reproduction and the Sciences in Cambridge was held in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience on 8 April 2011, and a workshop on Leprosy, Language and Identity in the Medieval World was held at King's College on 12–13 April 2011.

Reproduction on Film

March 2011

Our first 'Reproduction on Film' series, covering the topic of Reproductive Dystopias, took place during March 2011 at the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse. See James Poskett's blog entry for the Wellcome Trust about The Stepford Wives.

Singer Prize commendations

February 2011

Congratulations to Jenny Bangham and Susannah Gibson on being awarded special commendations in the 2010 BSHS Singer Prize competition. Jenny's essay was on 'The Rhesus controversy: scientific notations, paper tools and their articulation' and Susannah's on 'Newtonian vegetables and perceptive plants'.

A History of British Sports Medicine

February 2011

Congratulations to Vanessa Heggie on the publication of A History of British Sports Medicine by Manchester University Press. The book explores a series of transformations in the athletic body. 'Athletes start the century as normal, healthy citizens, and end up as potentially unhealthy physiological "freaks", while the general public are increasingly urged to do more exercise and play more sports.' Order now and beat the Olympic rush!

Wellcome Lecture

January 2011

'Encountering Aristotle's Masterpiece, or how to find a racy book about reproduction', the Sixth Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Mary Fissell (Johns Hopkins University) on Thursday 20 January 2011.

Visiting scholar

January 2011

We welcome Mary Fissell, from the Institute of the History of Medicine of the Johns Hopkins University, to the Department as a visiting scholar for seven months. Mary, who is supported by a Wellcome Trust research expenses grant, will give the Wellcome Lecture and lead several seminars and reading groups. These will draw on her work on early-modern generation, and especially her project on Aristotle's Masterpiece, the best-selling book on sex and reproduction, first published in 1684 and still in print in the early twentieth century.

Demography network

January 2011

Congratulations to the Bremen-based network on 'Population, Knowledge, Order, Change: Demography and Politics in the Twentieth Century in Global Perspective' on receiving funding from the German Research Foundation. Our own Jesse Olszynko-Gryn is a network member.

Nobel Prize for Robert Edwards

December 2010

Congratulations to Robert Edwards, the IVF pioneer, on the award of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2010. Martin Johnson, a former student of Professor Edwards, gave a lecture, 'Bob Edwards and IVF: The early days', at a symposium in his honour at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. Watch the video here.

Reproduction workshop

November 2010

The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum held its sixth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction in the Department on Friday 12 November 2010.

Sex Before the Sexual Revolution

October 2010

Congratulations to Simon Szreter and Kate Fisher on the publication of Sex Before the Sexual Revolution: Intimate Life in England, 1918–1963 by Cambridge University Press. The book is based on extensive oral histories and is rich in policy implications.

Population seminars at the Faculty of Classics

September 2010

A series of seminars on 'Population' in the Ancient World will be held on Mondays at 5.15pm in Room G.21, Faculty of Classics, from 11 October.

PhD studentship

September 2010

The 'Generation to Reproduction' programme has advertised a doctoral studentship. We also welcome applications from students wishing to be nominated, in any field of the history of medicine, for the Wellcome Trust's annual doctoral studentship competition, or for a quota master's award to take the MPhil in History, Philosophy and Sociology of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Darwin in communication

August 2010

The British Council's 'Darwin now' network between Peking University and the University of Cambridge co-sponsored a conference on 'Darwin in communication' in Beijing on 26–28 August. Haiyan Yang, Guosheng Wu and Jim Secord organized the event, at which Jim Moore, Tim Lewens, Nick Hopwood and Peter Bowler also spoke.

Seriality and scientific objects

August 2010

Nick Hopwood, Simon Schaffer and Jim Secord have edited a special double issue of History of Science on 'Seriality and scientific objects in the nineteenth century'. This was prepared through workshops held in the Department between 2007 and 2009.

Funding human conception research

July 2010

Martin Johnson and colleagues have a paper in Human Reproduction about why the MRC refused Robert Edwards and Patrick Steptoe funding for the research that eventually led to the birth of the first 'test-tube baby', Louise Brown. John Biggers (Harvard) wrote an editorial about the article, which was also featured in the Independent on Sunday, New Scientist and New Statesman. Along with a collection of some 25 interviews with leading players in the history of mammalian embryology and IVF, this substantial paper is the main output from a pilot project funded by the Wellcome Trust.

PhD studentships

July 2010

Congratulations to Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, who has been awarded one of the PhD studentships attached to our Wellcome Trust strategic award for a project on history of pregnancy testing, and to Dmitriy Myelnikov, who has won a doctoral studentship in the Trust's annual competition to work on the history of genetically modified mice.

New appointment

June 2010

Congratulations to Siân Pooley, who has been appointed Teaching Associate in the Modern Economic and Social History of Britain in the History Faculty. Funded by our strategic award, Dr Pooley will cover Simon Szreter's teaching in 2010–11, while he is on leave researching the effects of venereal diseases on the British fertility decline.

Historians of science and medicine appointed to the History Faculty

June 2010

Congratulations to Sujit Sivasundaram and Emma Spary, both trained in HPS, on their appointments as lecturers in the Faculty of History. Two other newly-hired historians, Felicitas Becker and Alexandra Walsham, also have medical historical interests.

Research and Teaching Associate in Early Modern Medicine

May 2010

Congratulations to Karin Ekholm, who has been appointed as a Research and Teaching Associate in Early Modern Medicine. The post runs for two years from January 2011, and is funded jointly from the Wellcome Trust Strategic Award on Generation to Reproduction and by the Newton Trust. Karin is completing a PhD at the University of Indiana on 'Generation and its Problems: William Harvey, Nathaniel Highmore and Their Contemporaries'. We are looking forward to having her join the Department.

Research network on Economies of Reproduction

May 2010

A research network on Economies of Reproduction has been launched with the support of the German Research Foundation. It will promote 'Interdisciplinary Research on the Past and Present of Human Reproduction, 1750–2010'. We congratulate Florence Vienne and her colleagues and look forward to lively exchange. Sarah Franklin, Zeynep Gürtin-Broadbent and Nick Hopwood are already associated with the project. Nick gave the opening lecture at the inaugural workshop in Berlin on 7 May.

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship 2010–12: Science, Medicine and Society in Africa

April 2010

Congratulations to Ruth Prince who has been appointed as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow jointly in the Centre of African Studies and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science. She will take up the position in October 2010 and will be based in the Centre of African Studies.

Wellcome research fellowship in Classics

March 2010

Congratulations to David Leith for his award of a Wellcome research fellowship to work on 'The fragments of Asclepiades of Bithynia' in the Faculty of Classics from September 2010.

Wellcome research fellowship

March 2010

Congratulations to Rohan Deb Roy, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship, starting in January 2011, to work on 'Insects: British Empire, knowledge networks and the making of medical entomology, 1850–1920'.

Wellcome major grant for Casebooks Project

January 2010

Congratulations to Lauren Kassell, who has been awarded a major grant from the Wellcome Trust for 'The Casebooks Project: Simon Forman and Richard Napier's Medical Records, 1596–1634'. The award consists of postdoctoral awards to John Young, Robert Ralley and Michael Hawkins, backed with equipment and other expenses, to assist in development and completion of the project. It is due to start 1 April 2010 and will last for 39 months.

Casebooks Project: pilot project website

Wellcome History newsletter

December 2009

Issue 42 of the Wellcome History newsletter contains a feature article by Salim Al-Gailani on 'Teratology and the Clinic', a 10-page section about our Generation to Reproduction strategic award, a piece on Making Visible Embryos and a review by Richard Barnett.

Wellcome research fellowship

December 2009

Congratulations to Jenny Rampling, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship, starting in January 2010, to work on 'Medicine and the making of English alchemy, 1300–1700'.

Wellcome Lecture

December 2009

'Divorcing sex and reproduction: the discussion of artificial insemination in Britain, 1918–1948', the Fifth Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Angus McLaren (University of Victoria) on Thursday 3 December 2009. Professor McLaren also led a workshop discussion on the same day.

Wellcome research fellowship

October 2009

Congratulations to Vanessa Heggie, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship with matching funding from the Isaac Newton Trust to work on 'Higher, colder, further: extreme physiology and endurance'.

Reproduction workshop

October 2009

The Cambridge Interdisciplinary Reproduction Forum held its fifth Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction on 30 October 2009 at CRASSH.

‘Generation to Reproduction’ strategic award: appointments

October 2009

The first three appointments have been made to positions on our Wellcome strategic award in the history of medicine on the theme Generation to Reproduction.

  • Dr Francis Neary joins the team as events and outreach officer. He is a historian of science with much outreach experience, most recently the successful 'Darwin the Geologist' exhibition at the Sedgwick Museum. Francis will work on the project on Tuesdays in Michaelmas Term, moving to three days a week in the new year.
  • Salim Al-Gailani (HPS) will take up the two-year position of research associate in history of reproductive sciences when he has finished his PhD on obstetrics, teratology and antenatal care around 1900. He will work on the physiology and pathology of pregnancy in the mid-twentieth century.
  • Jacqueline Cahif (University of Glasgow) will join us, when she has completed her PhD on prostitution and venereal diseases in mid-19th century Philadelphia, as a one-year research assistant in modern social and medical history, working with Simon Szreter (Faculty of History) on the history of VD in Britain in relation to the fertility decline, 1860–1940.

Congratulations to all!

Casebooks database online

September 2009

The pilot study of The Casebooks Project: Simon Forman and Richard Napier's Medical Records, 1596–1634 is now complete. Lauren Kassell directed the project and Rob Ralley and Peter Forshaw worked as Research Associates. The pilot has generated a database of Simon Forman's casebooks, 1596–1603. We are now seeking funding for the full project. The pilot was supported by the Wellcome Trust.

Best article

July 2009

Vanessa Heggie's article '"Only the British appear to be making a fuss": the science of success and the myth of amateurism at the Mexico Olympiad, 1968' in Sport In History (vol. 28, pp. 213–235) has jointly won that journal's award for best article of the year.

Strategic award

June 2009

The University of Cambridge has secured major funding in the history of medicine from the Wellcome Trust. A strategic award of £785,000 for five years from 1 October 2009 will allow a cross-disciplinary group of researchers to take a concerted approach to the history of reproduction.

PhD studentship

June 2009

Congratulations to Elisabeth Ritter (McGill University), who has been awarded a PhD studentship by the University's Centre for Trophoblast Research in the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience. Beginning in spring 2010, Martin Johnson and Nick Hopwood will supervise a project on the history of the placenta in the twentieth century.

New job

June 2009

Congratulations to Laurence Totelin on her appointment to a lectureship in Ancient History at the School of History and Archaeology, Cardiff University, to start in September 2009.

Wellcome doctoral studentship

June 2009

Congratulations to Jenny Bangham (HPS MPhil this year), who has been awarded a Wellcome doctoral studentship to work on 'Blood groups between transfusion testing, population genetics and anthropology: Arthur Mourant and human diversity in postwar Britain'.

Workshop

April 2009

A workshop on Seriality and scientific objects in the age of capital and empire, 1848–1919 was held in the Department on 22–23 April 2009. Organized by Nick Hopwood, Simon Schaffer and Jim Secord, it was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Society's research network on 'History of scientific objects' and the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group.

Wellcome research fellowship

March 2009

Congratulations to Natalie Kaoukji, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship, starting in October 2009, to work on 'Reading and writing the prolongation of life'.

Workshop

March 2009

A one-day international workshop on Ancient Greek and Roman Scientific, Medical and Technical Writing was held at Newnham College on 21 March.

Wellcome Lecture

December 2008

'Making the invisible visible: the hidden history of families, schools, civil rights, media and science in the production of learning disabilities', the Fourth Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Rayna Rapp (New York University) on Thursday 4 December 2008. Professor Rapp also led a discussion earlier in the day.

Ischia Summer School

November 2008

Nick Hopwood is a director of the Eleventh Ischia Summer School on the History of the Life Sciences, which takes place at Villa Dohrn, Ischia, Italy, from 28 June to 5 July 2009. The theme is 'From Generation to Reproduction: Knowledge and Techniques from the Renaissance to the Present Day'. The deadline for applications is 31 January 2009.

PhD studentship

November 2008

The University's Centre for Trophoblast Research aims to fund up to three PhD studentships starting in October 2009, with Martin H. Johnson and Nick Hopwood offering a project on the history of the placenta since 1750.

Reproduction workshop

November 2008

An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction was held at CRASSH on Friday 14 November 2008.

New pilot project

October 2008

The Wellcome Trust has awarded Lauren Kassell funding for a pilot study for 'The Casebooks Project: An On-line Edition, Database and Image Archive of Simon Forman's and Richard Napier's Astrological Casebooks, 1596–1634'. The pilot project will database Forman's records (1596–1601) and develop an application for funding for the full project. Peter Forshaw and Rob Ralley are Senior Research Assistants on the project. The pilot will run from November to June.

New job

October 2008

Congratulations to Tatjana Buklijas on gaining a research fellowship at the Liggins Institute in Auckland, New Zealand. We are very grateful to Tatjana for her major contribution to research, teaching, organization and outreach over the last several years, most recently through the Making Visible Embryos exhibition. We wish her well and look forward to her continuing association with the Department.

Online exhibition

October 2008

The Department is pleased to announce the launch of an online exhibition, Making Visible Embryos. Designed and written by Tatjana Buklijas and Nick Hopwood, it was funded by our Wellcome enhancement award in the history of medicine.

Workshop

June 2008

A workshop on Seriality and scientific objects in an age of revolution, 1780–1848 was held in the Department on 16–17 June 2008. Organized by Nick Hopwood, Simon Schaffer and Jim Secord, it was funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Max Planck Society's research network on 'History of scientific objects' and the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group.

New appointment

April 2008

Congratulations to Richard Barnett, who has been appointed a Teaching Associate in the history of modern medicine and science. He will be joining us in September from the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL.

Wellcome research fellowship

March 2008

Congratulations to Elma Brenner, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship to work on 'Leprosy and society in Rouen, c. 1100–1500'. She will be joining us in October.

Workshop

March 2008

A workshop on Ancient Greek and Roman medical and scientific writing was held at Newnham College on 15 March 2008.

Conference

March 2008

The 'Missing Link': medicine in late antiquity and the early middle ages was held at King's College on 8 March 2008.

Conference

February 2008

Secrets and knowledge: medicine, science and commerce, 1500–1800 was held at CRASSH on 15–16 February 2008.

Wellcome research fellowship

January 2008

Congratulations to Hilary Powell, who has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship to work on 'The hagiography of healing: miracle narratives as discourses on disease and disability'. She will be joining us from Oxford in July.

New pilot project

December 2007

The Wellcome Trust has awarded Martin Johnson (Physiology, Development and Neuroscience), Nick Hopwood (HPS) and Sarah Franklin (LSE) support for a pilot project on mammalian embryology, and especially human IVF, in the UK since 1945.

Wellcome Lecture

November 2007

'Proving a negative? How important was sexual abstinence during the fertility decline?', the Third Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Simon Szreter (St John's College) on Thursday 29 November 2007.

Reproduction workshop

November 2007

An Interdisciplinary Workshop on Reproduction was held at CRASSH on Friday 16 November 2007.

New appointment

September 2007

Congratulations to Vanessa Heggie, who has been appointed a Mellon Fellow in the history of twentieth-century medicine in the Department for two years from 1 September. Vanessa joins us from the University of Manchester, where she has worked on the body around 1900 and is completing a history of sports medicine in twentieth-century Britain.

AHRC doctoral studentship

September 2007

Congratulations to Nick Whitfield (HPS MPhil, 2006) on being awarded an AHRC doctoral studentship to work on 'Blood donation in London, 1930s–1970s'.

Workshop

September 2007

Tatjana Buklijas and Maryon McDonald (Social Anthropology) co-organised a Leverhulme-funded workshop on 'Anatomy in context' at which Andrew Cunningham, Nick Hopwood and Ruth Richardson also spoke.

New job

July 2007

Congratulations to Andreas Mayer on gaining a research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.

Conference

April 2007

Cases in Science, Medicine and the Law, a two-day conference, was held at CRASSH on 20–21 April 2007.

PhD workshop

March 2007

A PhD workshop on medieval and early modern science and medicine was held on 23 March 2007. This workshop provided specialist doctoral training for PhD students from across the UK.

Reproduction workshop

March 2007

The second of two Interdisciplinary Workshops on Reproduction was held on 2 March 2007.

College research fellowship

March 2007

Ayesha Nathoo has been elected to a stipendiary research fellowship at Clare Hall. She is going to finish her book, Hearts Exposed: Transplants and the Media in 1960s Britain, and begin a project on Lennart Nilsson's fetal photographs. Congratulations!

Andrew Cunningham on Radio 4

February 2007

Andrew Cunningham is the writer and presenter of The Making of Modern Medicine, a new 30-part series on BBC Radio 4, broadcast on weekdays at 3.45pm from Monday 5 February.

Temporalizing the great chain of being

January 2007

Temporalizing the great chain of being: a reappraisal after 70 years, a one-day workshop, was held on Tuesday 16 January 2007.

Wellcome Lecture

November 2006

'Doctors, motherhood and insanity of childbirth in Victorian Britain', the Second Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Hilary Marland (University of Warwick) on Thursday 23 November 2006. A paper by Professor Marland was discussed at a workshop earlier in the day.

Reproduction workshop

November 2006

The first of two Interdisciplinary Workshops on Reproduction was held on 17 November 2006. The second workshop will be held on 2 March 2007.

New appointment

October 2006

We welcome Rebecca Flemming, a historian of ancient Roman medicine, who has been appointed to a University Lectureship in Classics.

Conference

September 2006

The conference Astrology and the body, 1100–1800 was held on 8–9 September 2006.

Directorship of the Darwin Correspondence Project

July 2006

Jim Secord has accepted the position of international Director of the Darwin Correspondence Project in the University Library. The American Council of Learned Societies will fund a 20% secondment. This appointment greatly strengthens links between the Department and the five full-time and four part-time staff of the Darwin Project, which is publishing all correspondence to and from Charles Darwin.

New job

July 2006

Congratulations to Emese Lafferton, who has been a Wellcome research fellow here, on her appointment to a three-year Lectureship in history and sociology of medicine in the Science Studies Unit, University of Edinburgh.

Pilkington Teaching Prize

July 2006

Congratulations to Nick Hopwood on winning a Pilkington Teaching Prize. The University awards Pilkington Teaching Prizes each year to recognise excellence in teaching.

Wellcome doctoral studentships awarded

July 2006

Congratulations to Salim Al-Gailani and Signe Nipper Nielsen on being awarded the Wellcome doctoral studentships attached to our enhancement award. Salim's project is on '"To give teratology a clinical aspect": Antenatal pathology and hygiene in Edinburgh around 1900' and Signe's on 'Early modern conceptions of generation in Denmark, 1648–1810'.

Book shortlisted

June 2006

Lauren Kassell's Medicine and Magic in Elizabethan London (soon to be available in paperback) was shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society's Whitfield Book Prize for the best first book on British history.

New job

June 2006

Congratulations to Soraya de Chadarevian, a senior research associate and affiliated lecturer in the Department for many years, who has been appointed Professor in the Department of History and the Center for Society and Genetics at UCLA. We thank Soraya for her immense contribution to our research and teaching, wish her all the best and look forward to her continued association with the Department.

Conference

June 2006

The conference Science and medicine in the multinational empires of Central and Eastern Europe was held on 23 June 2006.

New appointment

May 2006

We warmly welcome Elaine Leong, a specialist in lay medicine in early modern England, who will be employed as a Wellcome-funded teaching associate while Lauren Kassell is on research leave in 2006–7.

Rausing Lecture

May 2006

The Eleventh Annual Hans Rausing Lecture was given by Nelly Oudshoorn (University of Twente) on 'From victims to heroes: rethinking the role of users in technoscience', and included discussion of her studies of the male pill.

Conference on embryos

May 2006

Talking embryos: interdisciplinary conversations exploring the social roles of the embryo was held at King's College, Cambridge and sponsored by CRASSH.

Wellcome Lecture

December 2005

'Women's bodies in sixteenth-century medicine: using the classical tradition', the First Cambridge Wellcome Lecture in the History of Medicine, was given by Professor Helen King (Reading University) on Thursday 1 December 2005. A paper by Professor King was discussed at a workshop earlier in the day.

Major award for Victorian Studies

November 2005

With colleagues from Classics, History and English, Jim Secord has been awarded £1M by the Leverhulme Trust for research on 'Past versus present: abandoning the past in an age of progress'. The five-year project begins in October 2006 and will employ several research fellows. With Clare Pettitt, Jim will direct a strand, 'The anxiety of progress', which aims to reassess the impact of progressive, developmental views by exploring the relations between scientific writing and prose fiction, especially in the decades before 1859.

Wellcome research fellowship

November 2005

Laurence Totelin has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship, starting in January 2006, to work on 'What's in a name? Authorship and authority in the transmission of medicinal recipes from Hippocrates to Galen'. Congratulations!

Free School Lane Workshop on Reproduction

October 2005

A one-day workshop on 'reproduction', with talks by members of the Departments of HPS and Social Anthropology and the Centre for Family Research, was held on Monday 17 October.

Ucam-histmed: a new history of medicine discussion list

October 2005

Ucam-histmed, a new electronic list for people in the Cambridge area with interests in history of medicine, broadly understood, was launched on 3 October 2005. The list will carry announcements of events, professional opportunities and conversations about matters of common interest in research, teaching and preservation. The aim is to improve communication among medical historians in the various departments of the University of Cambridge and beyond.

Wellcome studentships available

September 2005

The Department invites applications for two history of medicine prize studentships funded by a five-year enhancement award in history of medicine. We seek outstanding candidates whose doctoral research would fall in the field 'From generation to reproduction', i.e. who would investigate some aspect of how, since 1500, our world of reproductive practices and controversy was created.

We also invite applications from candidates with interests in all areas of history of medicine who would like to be nominated for the Wellcome Trust's annual master's award and doctoral studentship competitions.

Wellcome doctoral studentships awarded

August 2005

Congratulations to Leon Rocha (HPS) and Bonnie Evans (who joins us from Oxford) on gaining doctoral studentships in the Trust's annual competition. Leon's project is entitled 'Zhang Jingsheng's utopian project', and Bonnie's project is 'A history of psychotherapeutic practice and regulation in London, 1945–2005'.

Wellcome research fellowship

June 2005

Rob Ralley has been awarded a three-year Wellcome research fellowship to work on 'Medical times in England, 1450–1550'. Congratulations!

New seminar series

May 2005

'From generation to reproduction' is a new series of seminars, funded by the Wellcome Trust. The first talks were given in Easter Term 2005 by Katharine Park, Martin Richards, Barbara Duden and Helga Satzinger. The next are scheduled for the first four Tuesdays in Lent Term 2006.

Workshop

April 2005

Between the farm and the clinic: agriculture and reproductive technology in the twentieth century, a one-day workshop funded by the Wellcome Trust, was held on 29 April.

American Association for the History of Medicine

April 2005

Tatjana Buklijas, Ayesha Nathoo and Nick Hopwood spoke at the American Association for the History of Medicine's annual meeting in Birmingham, Alabama on 7–10 April.

New book

April 2005

Medicine and Magic in Elizabethan London – Simon Forman: Astrologer, Alchemist, and Physician by Lauren Kassell was published in April 2005 by Clarendon Press.

Wellcome research fellowship

March 2005

Tatjana Buklijas has been awarded a Wellcome research fellowship (2005–8) to work on 'The politics of anatomy in Vienna, 1914–1945'. Congratulations!

Wellcome project grant

November 2004

Andrew Cunningham has been awarded a Wellcome project grant to work on 'The career of Aristotelian anatomy: Aristotle, Fabrici, Harvey'. Congratulations!

Wellcome enhancement award doctoral studentships

October 2004

The Department invites applications for two history of medicine prize studentships funded by a five-year enhancement award in history of medicine. We seek outstanding candidates whose doctoral research would fall in the field 'From generation to reproduction', i.e. who would investigate some aspect of how, since 1500, our world of reproductive practices and controversy was created.

We also invite applications from candidates with interests in all areas of history of medicine who would like to be nominated for the Wellcome Trust's annual master's award and doctoral studentship competitions.

History of medicine enhanced

October 2004

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science has secured core funding in the history of medicine from the Wellcome Trust. The five-year enhancement award recognizes the Department's re-establishment as a centre of undergraduate teaching, postgraduate training and postdoctoral research in medical history.

Funding for studentships, research leave, a website, seminars, workshops and conferences has been awarded to Nick Hopwood (history of modern medicine and biology), John Forrester (history and philosophy of psychoanalysis and psychiatry), Lauren Kassell (early modern medicine), Jim Secord (history of life sciences) and Nick Jardine (history of natural history and historiography of medicine).

The grant will strengthen the distinctively interdisciplinary medical history programme of the largest HPS department in the UK. It will be used specifically to build expertise in the area 'From generation to reproduction', within which the award-holders will intensify efforts to show how, since 1500, our world of reproductive practices and controversy was created.

A major public-engagement activity will be a website on 'Making the visible embryo' to be designed by Tatjana Buklijas.

Wellcome Trust