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History of Medicine Lectures

Every year the Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health hosts a public lecture series sponsored in part by the NYAM Section on the History of Medicine and Public Health. Events are free and open to the public, and lectures begin at 6:00 p.m., with refreshments available at 5:30 p.m. Advance registration for section events is requested but not required.

For further information about medical history programs at NYAM, please call Associate Director Paul Theerman at 212-822-7350 or email ptheerman@nyam.org

UPCOMING EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF MEDICINE SERIES

January 24, 2015 • 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Recent forgeries of early modern books using photopolymer plates have attained a high level of sophistication. This talk will examine the technological, intellectual, and material aspects of book forgery, looking especially at efforts to create convincing artifacts, rather than merely forge texts.

March 17, 2015 • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

It’s commonly said that “you are what you eat.” These days, we tend to mean that if you consume the right foods, containing the right nutrients, you’ll tend to be healthy and live long. But some centuries ago, other sensibilities were available that helped define the nature and causes of human character, individual and collective. In his talk, Dr. Shapin discusses one of the more familiar examples of this analogical and causal mode of reasoning in the period from the 16th to the 18th centuries—why beef-eating made the English who they were.

April 14, 2015 • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Comparable in importance to Copernicus's De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (1543), William Harvey's Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (1628) revolutionized human anatomy. This talk will explore the movement and reception of Harvey's theory across Europe, paying special attention to the evidence from the marginalia by Marc'Aurelio Severino in Dr. John Loeb's presentation copy.

April 28, 2015 • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

How do plants become pharmaceuticals? In this talk, Abena Dove Osseo-Asare examine the history of efforts to patent a treatment for malaria made from the bitter roots of fever vine (Cryptolepis sanguinolenta). The talk is drawn from her book, Bitter Roots: The Search for Healing Plants in Africa.

May 4, 2015 • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Florence Nightingale is undoubtedly the most famous of all British nurses. But on the other side of the Atlantic stands Linda Richards, as influential although perhaps less well-known than her illustrious mentor. This talk will examine both the connections and the differences between the two women, who together laid the foundations of modern nursing across the world.

October 8, 2015 • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

In his famous Quintet of Modern Diseases, Hayatizade Mustafa Feyzi, the Chief Physician to Ottoman Sultan Mehmed IV (r. 1648–1687), claimed that by far the most prevalent disease in Istanbul was hypochondria. He believed that it was a distinctly modern disease that afflicted mostly intellectuals. This talk will piece together the cultural history of hypochondria in Istanbul and its immediate surroundings, using Ottoman and European medical and travel literature.

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