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NLM Announces 2020 History Talks

January 29, 2020

The History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces its 2020 NLM History Talks. All talks are free, open to the public, and held in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium, building 38A located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Lectures are also live-streamed globally and archived by NIH VideoCasting, which is made possible through support of the Michael E. DeBakey Medical Foundation.

The centerpiece of the 2020 series will be When People are Data: How Medical History Matters for Our Digital Age, to be delivered on June 9, 2020, by Joanna Radin, PhD, Program in History of Science and Medicine, Yale University, and co-sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Digital Humanities, as part of the partnership between NLM and NEH to collaborate on research, education, and career initiatives.

The 2020 NLM History Talks will also feature:

    • Katrin Schultheiss, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of History, The George Washington University, speaking on The Girl in the Lion Cage: Regulating Hypnotism in Nineteenth Century France. Dr. Schultheiss’s lecture will take place on Thursday, February 27, 2020, beginning at 2pm ET in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium.
    • Ashley Bowen, PhD, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellow, Science History Institute, speaking on Rise, Serve, Lead… And Publish: Including Women Physicians’ Writings in Rise, Serve, Lead: America’s Women Physicians. Dr. Bowen’s talk will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2020, beginning at 2pm ET in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium.
    • Sara Farhan, PhD, 2019 NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellow in the History of Medicine, and Assistant Professor of History, Department of International Studies, American University of Sharjah, offering the 4th Annual Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine on DeBakey in Baghdad and Beirut: The Internationalization of Surgical Education, 1945-1970. Dr. Farhan’s lecture will take place on Thursday, May 21, 2020, beginning at 2pm ET in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium
    • Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of Human Ecology, Rutgers University, and recipient of a 2018 NLM G13 Award for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health/Publications for Race and the Transformation of the Food Environment: Fast food, African Americans, and the Color Line, 1955-1995. Dr. Kwate will offer the 11th Annual James H. Cassedy Lecture in the History of Medicine, “Savages cry easily and are afraid of the dark”: What It Means to Talk about Race and African American health. Dr. Kwate’s talk will take place on September 24, 2020, beginning at 2pm ET in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium.
    • Cynthia Connolly, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor of Nursing, Rosemarie B. Greco Endowed Term Chair in Advocacy, and Associate Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, offering New Drugs, Old Problems: The Sulfonamide Revolution and Children’s Health Care Delivery in the United States, 1933-1949. Dr. Connolly’s talk will take place on Thursday, October 15, 2020, beginning at 2pm ET in the NLM Lister Hill Auditorium.

The NLM History Talks promote awareness and use of NLM 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.

Interviews with the speakers in this series of talks are published in Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM History of Medicine Division. Explore interviews with past speakers on the blog and stay informed about NLM History Talks on Twitter at #NLMHistTalk.

Complete time and location details of all talks are available from the NLM History of Medicine Division.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available at

Last Reviewed: January 29, 2020