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Accidents in History

Injuries, Fatalities and Social Relations


Edited by Roger Cooter and Bill Luckin

There is now an extensive literature on the social and environmental consequences of living in the risk society. Studies of trauma are also increasingly prominent. But scant attention has been paid to perceptions of risk and danger in the past — in particular, to the history of accidents and the meanings of the accidental. This collection of interdisciplinary essays addresses this lacuna providing a theoretically informed historical sociology of the accident and risk. It explores the social and cultural contexts in which ‘acts of God', calamities, catastrophes, disasters, injuries, casualties, and other category of ‘mishaps' were experienced, conceptualized and responded to.
Drawing on the skills of British, European and North American scholars, Accidents in History combines philosophical, sociological and ecological overviews with in-depth historical case-studies. It spans the period from the eighteenth century to the present, probing the epistemological, social and political roots of the accidental. The authors differentiate between industrial and other forms of injury; trace the origins of the normalization of accidents; and analyze the interactions and gendered discrepancies between domestic and non-domestic mishaps. They also investigate the medicalization of sudden injury, and discuss the emergence of new socio-medical and humanitarian discourses around the organization of relief for victims.


Patricia Morison

In the 1890s four young scientists at Sydney University - two Scots, a Londoner and an Australian - began sustained research into Australian native fauna for which each was awarded the FRS. They all went on to pursue notable careers in the biological sciences, concluding in London 46-8 and Cambridge.
This book follows their careers and enduring friendship exploring in detail the life of its senior member, J.T. Wilson (1861-1945), who was professor of anatomy at Sydney University (1890-1920) and Cambridge (1920-1933) and had abiding interests in science, philosophy, education and military affairs.
The narrative is mainly concerned with issues of historical interest to scientists and medical educationists though some, like Empire relations and the contribution of Scots to Australia's development, will interest a wider readership. Many of the preoccupations of Wilson and his colleagues remain topical: the debate between biological science and religion; the struggle to interpret Darwin's theory without placing Homo sapiens at the top of an evolutionary tree; pure versus applied science; vocationalism versusscholarship in university education.

Medicine and Morals in the Enlightenment

John Gregory, Thomas Percival and Benjamin Rush


Lisbeth Haakonssen

Modern medical ethics in the English-speaking world is commonly thought to derive from the medical philosophy of the Scotsman John Gregory (1725-1773) and his younger associates, the English Dissenter Thomas Percival (1740-1804) and the American Benjamin Rush (1745-1813). This book is the first extensive study of this suggestion. Dr Haakonssen shows how the three thinkers combined Francis Bacon's and the Scottish Enlightenment's ideas of the science of morals and the morals of science. She demonstrates how their medical ethics was a successful adaptation of traditional moral ideas to the dramatically changing medical world especially the voluntary hospital. In accounting for the dynamics of this process, she rejects the anachronism that modern medical ethics was a new paradigm.


Anthony Morson

T.N.R. Morson was born just as chemistry started to be a science. Trained in Paris, he introduced to Britain quinine and morphine followed by many other medicines. His pioneering achievements were recognised by his medical contemporaries. His contributions to the progress of science and its institutions included work at the Society of Arts and the Royal Institution. He was as well-known in Paris as in London. He was a founder of the Pharmaceutical Society becoming its President in 1848 and 1859. He created a substantial pharmaceutical chemical business with world-wide interests.


Peter Fleming

The story told in this book begins in about 1700, when the first attempts were made to study the diseased heart in life (the subject matter of cardiology), as distinct from its appearance after death; it ends, rather arbitrarily, in 1970.
The account of the development of knowledge of heart disease is mainly chronological with emphasis on the fruitful consequences of the cross-fertilization of clinical practice with pathological anatomy at the beginning of the nineteenth century and with physiology at the end.
In addition, shorter chapters deals with such topics as specific disease entities, methods of investigation, cardiac surgery and the work of two individuals - Peter Latham, an example of a physician practising with today's clinical skills but a very imperfect knowledge of the pathogenesis of heart disease and Etienne Marey, an early exponent of the clinical physiology which would, in time, throw light on that pathogenesis.


Edited by Dorothy Porter

Little attention has been paid to the history of the influence of the social sciences upon medical thinking and practice in the twentieth century. The essays in this volume explore the consequences of the interaction between medicine and social science by evaluating its significance for the moral and aterial role of medicine in modern societies. Some of the essays examine the ideas of both clinicians and social scientists who believed that highly technologized medicine could be made more humanistic by understanding the social relations of health and illness. Other authors interrogate the critical assault which social science has made upon medicine as a system of knowledge, organisation and power. The volume discusses, therefore, the relationship between social-scientific knowledge both in and of medicine in the twentieth century. Collectively the essays illustrate that the respective power of biology and culture in determining human behaviour and social transition continues to be an unresolved paradox.

The Correspondence of James Jurin (1684-1750)

Physician and Secretary to the Royal Society


Edited by Andrea A. Rusnock

James Jurin (1684-1750) occupied a central place in the medical and scientific circles of Augustan and Georgian England. His dispassionate yet forceful advocacy of smallpox inoculation using an innovative statistical approach brought him widespread recognition both in Britain and abroad. He was Secretary to the Royal Society for seven years and participated vigorously in the most important scientific debates of the period. Jurin's correspondence, recently made available to the public, provides rich material for the study of eighteenth-century natural philosophy and medicine, especially of the smallpox inoculation debates. This volume reproduces a broad and valuable selection of letters, as well as a list of Jurin's publications and a calendar of the complete correspondence. The introductory biographical essay describes how Jurin combined a career as a successful London physician with that of a natural philosopher.

Fantasy Surgery, 1880-1930

With Special Reference to Sir William Arbuthnot Lane


Ann Dally

In the late nineteenth century, for the first time in history, major surgery became reasonably safe. A mortality of up to 30% was considered reasonable. The living abdomen, hitherto a region as unexplored as darkest Africa, was opened up to light and to the knife in explorations not unlike those of Africa — bold, dramatic, often not too well thought out, and dangerous. Surgeons became enthusiastic — some of them wildly so. The subsequent period has been called 'the adolescence of surgery'. It included major surgery, often on the abdomen, done for psychiatric symptoms. Ovaries and wombs were removed and other organs hitched up higher inside the abdomen in an attempt to cure hysteria, neurasthenia or depression.
This book is about the development and effect of some of these operations and about one of the period's most distinguished surgeons, Sir William Arbuthnot Lane. He was internationally famous in three fields of surgery (facial, mastoid and abdominal), then became deeply involved in removing colons — thought to be the 'sink' of the body and the source of dangerous infection.

Marshall Hall (1790-1857)

Science and Medicine in Early Victorian Society


Diana E. Manuel

Marshall Hall was trained as a physician in the early nineteenth century, scientifically oriented, University of Edinburgh Medical School. The son of a Methodist cotton manufacturer and bleacher at Nottingham, Hall believed that in science lay the future for progress in medicine. Following early work on diagnosis, on women's disorders and on blood-letting, Hall came to specialise in the nervous system and in particular on the concept of reflex action. For Hall, who proposed a mechanistic explanation of reflex action, Galenic animal spirits and souls in decapitated creatures were out.
A superb experimentalist, Hall strove to establish experimental medicine (physiology) as the basis of the medical curriculum instead of anatomy, the long standing domain of the surgeons. They were among the strongest critics of Hall's vivisection procedures, despite his efforts to establish a Code of Practice. Hall was involved in several controversies within and without the Royal Society where he was victimised by its Physiological Committee. He addressed a range of social and public health issues including the abolition of slavery, and devised a new method of resuscitation and a more sensitive physiological test for strychnine detection. He also proposed plans for improving and linking sewage disposal and the transport system of the metropolis.

Metropolitan Maternity

Maternal and Infant Welfare Services in Early Twentieth Century London


Lara V. Marks

For centuries London has been at the centre of the social and economic fabric of British life, and its empire. London has not only been renowned for its pivotal role in the world of finance and politics, but also for its acute problems of overcrowding and social and economic dislocation. Starting in 1902 and ending just before the outbreak of the Second World War, Metropolitan Maternity highlights the distinct role London played in these years within the debates and policies concerning the economic and military future and physical welfare of the nation. Focusing on the expansion of maternal and child health and welfare services in the early twentieth century, this book shows that London mothers and children tended to be better served than those in provincial cities or rural areas. Yet even in London some areas were better served than others. A central theme of the book is the complexity of socio-economic and political forces that determined the differing levels of provision and health standards within the city. The book also examines the increasing emphasis placed on state sponsorship of health services in the early twentieth century and the growing willingness to involve and listen to mothers and their needs in the planning and development of services.