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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

History lessons
You may be tiring of coronavirus news, but seeking deeper understanding. Time for history of medicine. Two pieces by members of the Department have just come out.

Social History of Medicine
The new issue of Social History of Medicine contains contributions from Richard McKay and Salim Al-Gailani.

How Collections End
The 2019 issue of BJHS Themes is 'How Collections End: Objects, Meaning and Loss in Laboratories and Museums', edited by Boris Jardine, Emma Kowal and Jenny Bangham. There are several articles on biological and medical topics, including by Helen Curry and Nick Hopwood.

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.

Subscribe to Ucam-histmed

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.