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Visit: History of Medicine Lectures

2015

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

    “The Apotheosis of the Dissected Plate: Spectacles of Layering and Transparency in 19th- and 20th-Century Anatomy”

    Michael Sappol, PhD, Historian, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine

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    This is a story about “topographical anatomy”—a tradition of slicing and sawing rather than cutting and carving—and its procedures for converting bodies from three dimensions to two dimensions and back again. In topographical cross-section anatomy, the frozen or mummified body is cut into successive layers that are then transcribed and reproduced as pages of a book or a sequence of prints or slides (sometimes with the original slices preserved as a sequence of specimens for the anatomical museum). The topographical method influenced, and was in turn influenced by, flap anatomy (the technique of cutting out printed anatomical parts on paper or cardboard and assembling the parts into a layered representation of the human body). In the 20th century, medical illustrators and publishers developed a new technique of three-dimensional anatomical layering: the anatomical transparency—an epistemological/heuristic device which in the postmodern era has come to enchant artists as well as anatomists. This talk features photographs of materials in the NLM collection by artist Mark Kessell.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Sappol on Circulating Now

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

    “The History of Race in Randomized Controlled Trials: Ethical and Policy Considerations”

    Laura Bothwell, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow in Pharmaceutical Law and Health Services Research, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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    This lecture will examine how race has been embedded in the history of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Clinical trial research policies and norms have grown increasingly attentive to the inclusion of racial minorities in RCT subject populations. This lecture will consider when race has been measured in RCTs and why, exploring the question of whether racial groups have been fairly represented in RCTs. Relying on broad collections of historical trials and archival materials in the collections of the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, it will include a timeline of racial trends in RCT research subject populations, accompanied by discussion of the role of the NIH in key historic developments related racial diversity in clinical trials.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Bothwell on Circulating Now

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  • 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg

    Myrna M Weissman, PhD, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
    Frank Portugal, PhD, The Catholic University of America
    David Serlin, PhD, University of California, San Diego
    George Thoma, PhD, National Library of Medicine

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    This special two-and-a-half-hour public program will formally mark the donation of Marshall Nirenberg’s Nobel Prize and certificate to the NLM, newly given through the generosity of his wife, Dr. Myrna Weissman, who will offer brief remarks at the program highlighting Dr. Nirenberg’s thoughts and feelings about science and about his life at NIH. The program will also recognize the publication of Dr. Frank Portugal’s new book about Dr. Nirenberg, and formally announce the release of a new NLM Turning the Pages project involving the Nirenberg genetic code charts held in the NLM historical collections. This event will be webcast for those who are unable to attend in person. See the NIH VideoCast site for more details and to test your computer for compatibility. Subsequent NIH events will be announced soon.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Weissman on Circulating Now

    Read an Interview with Dr. Portugal on Circulating Now

    Read an Interview with Dr. Serlin on Circulating Now

    Read an Interview with Dr. Thoma on Circulating Now

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  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    “A History of the Food and Drugs Act Notices of Judgment – From the First Case of 1908 to the Digital Archive of 2014”

    John Rees, Archivist and Digital Resources Manager, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine Suzanne Junod, PhD, Historian, FDA History Office John Swann, PhD, Historian, FDA History Office

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    A special two-hour program held in collaboration with the FDA History Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and in conjunction with the NLM’s recent release of the FDA Notices of Judgment Collection, a digital archive of the published notices judgment for products seized under authority of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act

    In 1906 President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drugs Act, one of many Progressive Era legislative efforts giving the federal government the authority to intervene in economic and social affairs to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the American populace. Under the Act, the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry, which later became the Food and Drug Administration, was directed to inspect food and drugs for misbranding and adulteration; medical devices and cosmetics were added under the 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Violators were prosecuted in federal courts and the proceedings summarized and published as Notices of Judgment. In 2004, over 2,000 boxes of evidence files used to prosecute these court cases were donated to the National Library of Medicine. John Rees of the National Library of Medicine and Suzanne Junod and John Swann of the FDA History Office will discuss the history of the 1906 Pure Food and Drug Act and subsequent acts, the Notices of Judgment which resulted from prosecutions under them, and efforts over the last decade to preserve and provide access to these records. They will also provide insight into the medical marketplace of the 20th century that these published and unpublished collections can provide to researchers and scholars.

    Read an Interview with John Rees on Circulating Now

    Read an Interview with Dr. Junod on Circulating Now

    Read an Interview with Dr. Swann on Circulating Now

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

    “Caring for Foreign Bodies: Healthcare’s Role in Immigrant Assimilation, 1890–1945”

    Alan Kraut, PhD, American University

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    In 1914, during a peak era of immigration to the United States, E. A. Ross, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin insisted that the “foreign blood being injected into the blood of ‘our people’ is ‘subcommon.’ He scoffed at the unassimilable foreigners, taking aim at Southern Italians, Slavs, and Eastern European Jews. Others targeted Latinos and Asians. Newcomers and their advocates disagreed. Foreign bodies became contested terrain in the battle over whether newcomers’ bodies were fit for America. Because migration has been and continues to be so central to the America’s peopling, the subsequent process of integrating newcomers into American society has been an essential and recurring aspect of the American narrative. However, in every era there have been those who doubt that foreign bodies can be assimilated. This presentation demonstrates how in the period from 1890 to 1945 physicians, many of them immigrants themselves, became cultural mediators in the assimilation negotiation, encouraging newcomers to forge robust bodies even as their respective ethnic or religious groups organized and supported healthcare institutions responsive to both newcomers’ medical requirements and cultural preferences, a pattern that remains a dimension of the current dialogue over assimilation of the foreign-born.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Kraut on Circulating Now

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

    “Medical Identity and Ethnicity in Nineteenth-Century New Orleans”

    Amy Wiese Forbes, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of History Director of European Studies Millsaps College

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    This lecture will explore the development of New Orleans physicians’ understanding of their responsibilities, both medical and social, during the 19th century. Professionalization in New Orleans involved disputes, with both words and weapons, between French- and American-trained physicians, battles over French and English language medical societies and journals, institutionalizing medical practice and education, and creating legitimacy in the eyes of the American government. A range of NLM materials document physicians’ ambitions and obstacles, and efforts to drive the public from medical debates. They suggest the advantages and disadvantages for what might be called a medical “habit of mind.”

    Read an Interview with Dr. Forbes on Circulating Now

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  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A

    “From Private Matter to Public Health Crisis: Nursing and the Intervention into Domestic Violence

    Catherine Jacquet, PhD, Louisiana State University

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    The late 20th century witnessed a significant shift in how the medical community responds to victims of domestic violence. Once a “private matter” that doctors shied away from, domestic violence became recognized as a public health crisis requiring serious medical attention. This change came as a result of the tireless efforts of reformers within the medical profession, a substantial number of whom were nurses. In this talk, Dr. Jacquet will focus on the work of pioneer nurses who made it their life’s work to properly identify and treat victims of violence and to prevent further harm to them. In so doing these nurses were critical figures in reforming a once negligent medical system and, ultimately, improving the lives of thousands of women nationwide.

    Dr. Jacquet’s lecture coincides with the opening of Confronting Violence, Improving Women’s Lives, a new special display curated by her, which will open in the NLM History of Medicine reading room on Monday, September 14, accompanied by a website and traveling banner exhibition.

    This special program will include an overview by exhibition curator Dr. Catherine Jacquet, assistant professor of history and women’s and gender studies at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), as well as remarks by nurses who figure prominently in the exhibition, including Dr. Jacquelyn Campbell, professor at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) School of Nursing (Baltimore), and former JHU professor Dr. Daniel Sheridan, currently professor at the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College (St. Louis). Kimberly Suiters, consumer investigator for ABC 7/WJLA-TV, will serve as master of ceremonies.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Jacquet on Circulating Now

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

    “Gathering and Spreading Knowledge: Publications and the Army Medical Library around World War I”

    Sanders Marble, PhD, Senior Historian US Army Office of Medical History

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    Dr. Marble will provide a brief overview of the Army Medical Library and Museum, their post-Civil War work in acquiring and disseminating knowledge, involvement in the Spanish American War, and analysis of why WWI is distinct and meaningful for the Library and their efforts to collect, create, and share military medical information.

    Read an Interview with Dr. Marble on Circulating Now

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