skip to content

Department of History and Philosophy of Science


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 Jules Skotnes-Brown
Jules Skotnes-Brown is now a Research Fellow on the Wellcome-funded project 'The Global War Against the Rat and the Epistemic Emergence of Zoonosis' at the University of St Andrews.

Congratulations to Rhianna Elliott
Rhianna Elliott has won a six-month secondment to the Science Museum.

Congratulations to Annie Thwaite
Annie Thwaite has been appointed as the Public Engagement Coordinator for the ESRC-funded project 'Secondary Education and Social Change in the United Kingdom since 1945' in the Faculty of History.

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.

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

Main image: Plaster model of a human head, 19th century. This model, which can be taken apart, would have been a less gruesome, and cheaper, alternative to human dissection for medical students and teachers. (T50)
Image credit: Whipple Museum of the History of Science, University of Cambridge

Generation to Reproduction


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

More >

Making Visible Embryos


Explore our online exhibition on the history of embryo images.

More >

The Casebooks Project


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

More >