Skip Navigation Bar
Skip Section Navigation

Visit: History of Medicine Lectures

Lectures in 2018

Open All
  • The Evolution of Viral Networks: H1N1, Ebola, and Zika

    11:00 a.m. - noon in the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Building 45, Balcony B Auditorium

    Theresa MacPhail, PhD — Assistant Professor Science and Technology Studies, Stevens Institute of Technology

    Read More

    This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.

    Read an interview with Theresa MacPhail on Circulating Now

    Author of The Viral Network: A Pathography of the H1N1 Influenza Pandemic (Cornell University Press, 2014), Dr. MacPhail will address the culture of public health, the production of scientific knowledge, networks of expertise, information sharing, and everyday experiences of epidemiologists, microbiologists, biomedical scientists, and medical practitioners. Her lecture is the keynote address of Viral Networks: An Advanced Workshop in Digital Humanities and Medical History, which brings together scholars from various fields of medical history whose innovative research shows promise through the use of methods, tools, and data from the digital humanities. The event is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through a grant to Virginia Tech, and is a collaborative outcome of the NLM’s ongoing partnership with the NEH.

    Close Close All Open All
  • A Conversation about Graphic Medicine

    2:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    A special public program in conjunction with Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn, a new NLM special display, traveling banner exhibition, and online exhibition launching in January 2018.

    Dr. Patti Brennan, director of the NLM, will explore the meaning of graphic medicine, an emerging genre of medical literature that combines the art of comics and personal illness narrative. She will be joined by Graphic Medicine guest curator, artist, author, and educator Ellen Forney; MK Czerwiec, a nurse and senior fellow at the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, and artist and author of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, and Dr. Michael Green, physician and professor in the Departments of Humanities and Internal Medicine at Penn State University. Dr Green, Ms Czerwiec and others, wrote Graphic Medicine Manifesto, which outlines the principles of graphic medicine and begins to map the field.

    Read More

    This program will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.

    Read an interview with MK Czerwiec on Circulating Now

    About the Participants

    Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD — Director, National Library of Medicine
    Website, Twitter

    Dr. Brennan assumed the directorship of the NLM in August 2016.

    Dr. Brennan came to NIH from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was the Lillian L. Moehlman Bascom Professor at the School of Nursing and College of Engineering. She also led the Living Environments Laboratory at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which develops new ways for effective visualization of high dimensional data.

    She received a master of science in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Following seven years of clinical practice in critical care nursing and psychiatric nursing, Dr. Brennan held several academic positions at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Ellen Forney — Guest Curator of the National Library of Medicine exhibition Graphic Medicine: Ill-Conceived and Well Drawn
    Website, Twitter

    Cartoonist Ellen Forney is the guest curator of Graphic Medicine: Ill-conceived and Well-Drawn!, a new exhibition project for the NLM, and author of New York Times bestseller Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me. She is currently working on Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice From My Bipolar Life, a sequel to Marbles.

    Ms. Forney has collaborated with Sherman Alexie on the National Book Award-winning novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, created the Eisner-nominated comic books I Love Led Zeppelin and Monkey Food, and has taught comics at Cornish College of the Arts since 2002. Ms. Forney is a MacDowell Colony and Civitella Ranieri Fellow.

    MK Czerwiec
    Website, Twitter

    MK Czerwiec (pronounced sir-wick) is a nurse and Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy Media Engagement. Her clinical experience is in HIV/AIDS care and hospice care. She co-runs Graphic Medicine, a website that explores the interaction between the medium of comics and the discourse of health care. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Today, Graphic Medicine is the primary content of her teaching and academic writing. She gives lectures and workshops on drawing in the health care context.

    Michael Green, MD

    Michael Green MD, MS is a physician and bioethicist at the Penn State University’s Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. He is interim chair of the Department of Humanities, chair of the Hospital Ethics Committee, and director of the Program in Bioethics.

    Dr Green is currently professor in the Departments of Humanities and Internal Medicine, where he cares for patients, teaches medical students and residents, and conducts research in bioethics. He is a pioneer in the field of graphic medicine and has published several landmark articles on the topic including the foundational article in the BMJ titled “Graphic medicine: use of comics in medical education and patient care”. With MK Czerwiec and others, Dr Green wrote Graphic Medicine Manifesto, described in one review as “something remarkable and game changing is being sparked by the alliance between comics and medicine.” Dr Green guest edits the Graphic Medicine section of the Annals of Internal Medicine, and since 2009 has taught a course on Comics and Medicine to 4th-year medical students, whose comics can be viewed online.

    Close Close All Open All
  • Scientists’ Hard Drives, Databases, and Blogs: Preservation Intent and Source Criticism in the Digital History of Science, Technology and Medicine

    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    Trevor Owens — Head of Digital Content Management, Library of Congress

    Read More

    This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.

    Read an interview with Trevor Owens on Circulating Now

    Carl Sagan’s WordPerfect files, simulations emailed to Edward Lorenz, a database application from the National Library of Medicine, a collection of science blogs, a database of interstellar distances; each of these digital artifacts has been acquired by archives and special collections. Born digital primary sources are no longer a future concern for archivists, librarians, curators and historians. As historians of science turn their attention to the late 20th and early 21st century, they will need to work from these born-digital primary sources. We have already accumulated a significant born digital past and it’s time for work with born digital primary sources to become mainstream. This presentation will give a quick tour of individual born-digital artifacts toward two goals: arguing for the need for archivists, curators and librarians to develop reflexively approaches to establishing preservation intent for digital content grounded in a dialog with the nature of a given set of digital objects and its future research use; and suggesting how trends in computational analysis of information in the digital humanities should be combined with approaches from digital forensics and new media studies to establish historiographic practices for born-digital source criticism. Owens will conclude by suggesting the kinds of technical skills archivists, librarians, curators and historians working with these materials are going to need to develop. Just as historians working with premodern documents require language and paleography skills, historians working with digital artefacts will increasingly need to understand the inscription processes of hard drives, the provenance created by web crawlers, and how to read relational databases of varying vintages.

    Owens is author of three books, the most recent of which, The Theory and Craft of Digital Preservation, is in press with Johns Hopkins University Press. Learn more about this book, and read a preprint of the draft, here.

    Close Close All Open All
  • Transplanting Technology: Dr. Michael DeBakey and Cold War Technology Transfer

    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    Heidi Morefield, MSc — 2017 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine, Doctoral Candidate, Department of the History of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

    Read More

    This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.

    Read an interview with Heidi Morefield on Circulating Now

    At the height of the Cold War, Dr. Michael E. DeBakey, one of the most prolific American surgeons of the 20th century, made several trips to China and the USSR to survey the medical landscape on the other side of the Iron Curtain. DeBakey became a broker of valuable medical information, teaching new techniques and introducing new machines in the USSR and China, while reporting on the conditions of Chinese and Soviet medical institutions back home to the American public. His diplomatic success was possible in part because of his willingness to take less high-tech medical systems seriously—he praised the barefoot doctors and was “impressed” with Russian medical inventions that were showcased during his visits. With rich diary entries describing his visits, DeBakey understood medical technology as being appropriate only in context. He situated both the Western technology he helped transplant to the East as well as that which he encountered there within the topography of the Soviet and Chinese medical systems. In reflecting upon DeBakey’s Cold War travels, this talk will interrogate how his influence and mobility shaped perceptions of both American and communist-sphere medical technology. Read Heidi Morefield’s contribution to the NLM History of Medicine blog Circulating Now to learn more about the research she completed during her tenure as an NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine.

    Close Close All Open All
  • Making the Case for History in Medical Education

    2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    David S. Jones, MD, PhD — A. Bernard Ackerman Professor of the Culture of Medicine, Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Medicine, Harvard University

    Read More

    This lecture will be live-streamed globally, and archived, by NIH VideoCasting.

    Historians of medicine have struggled for centuries to make the case for history in medical education. They have developed many arguments about the value of historical perspective, but their efforts have faced persistent obstacles, from limited resources to curricular time constraints and skepticism about whether history actually is essential for physicians. Recent proposals have suggested that history should ally itself with the other medical humanities and make the case that together they can foster medical professionalism. We articulate a different approach and make the case for history as an essential component of medical knowledge, reasoning, and practice. History offers essential insights about the causes of disease, the nature of efficacy, and the contingency of medical knowledge and practice amid the social, economic, and political contexts of medicine. These are all things that physicians must know in order to be effective diagnosticians and caregivers, just as they must learn anatomy or pathophysiology.

    About James H. Cassedy

    Close Close All Open All

About the History of Medicine Lectures

The lecture series of the NLM History of Medicine Division promotes awareness and use of NLM and other historical collections for research, education, and public service in biomedicine, the social sciences, and the humanities. The series also supports the commitment of the NLM to recognize the diversity of its collections—which span ten centuries, encompass a range of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe—and to appreciate the individuals of various disciplines who value these collections and use them to advance their research, teaching, and learning.

All lectures are free and open to the public and are held in the NLM’s Lister Hill Auditorium or NLM Visitor Center, located on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. For directions and more information please go to Visit Us.

All lectures are live-streamed globally and subsequently archived by NIH VideoCasting. This public service is made possible through a generous gift to the NLM from the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Foundation. The NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.

Read interviews with our lecturers on our blog Circulating Now   for a variety perspectives on the history of medicine and the historical collections at NLM.

Please direct questions about the lecture series to Stephen Greenberg, PhD, Head, Rare Books & Early Manuscripts, History of Medicine Division.