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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.

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 have special strength in the area of Generation to Reproduction and participate in the University-wide Strategic Research Initiative on Reproduction.

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 affiliate status.

History of Medicine news

Congratulations to Mary Brazelton
Mary Brazelton has won the Zhu Kezhen Award for her paper 'Engineering Health: Technologies of Immunization in China's Wartime Hinterland, 1937–45'.

Congratulations to Carolin Schmitz
Carolin Schmitz has won a prize for her book Los enfermos en la España barroca y el pluralismo médico: Espacios, estrategias y actitudes (The Sick in Baroque Spain and Medical Pluralism: Spaces, Strategies and Attitudes).

Casebooks official release
The Casebooks Digital Edition has been launched, together with a site showing selected cases in full. All 80,000 cases recorded by Simon Forman, Richard Napier and their associates between 1596 and 1634 can be browsed and searched.

Casebooks game launched
Astrologaster, a comedy video game inspired by the work of the Casebooks Project, is available now on iOS and Steam.

Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day
Cambridge University Press has published Reproduction: Antiquity to the Present Day, the major output of the Wellcome-funded Generation to Reproduction project.

Email list

Ucam-histmed is an email list for people in the Cambridge area interested in history of medicine.

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Cambridge historians of medicine and biology are taking a long-term, cross-disciplinary approach to the history of reproduction.


Explore our online exhibition on the history of embryo images.


Browse and search Simon Forman's and Richard Napier's records of thousands of consultations.