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Volume Editors: Gordon McOuat and Larry Stewart
Where did we do science in the Enlightenment and why? This volume brings together leading historians of Early Modern science to explore the places, spaces, and exchanges of Enlightenment knowledge production. Adding to our understanding of the “geographies of knowledge”, it examines the relationship between “space” and “place”, institutions, “objects”, and “ideas”, showing the ways in which the location of science really matters.

Contributors are Robert Iliffe, Victor Boantza, Margaret Carlyle, Jasmine Kilburn-Toppin, Trevor H. Levere, Alice Marples, Gordon McOuat, Larry Stewart, Marie Thébaud-Sorger, and Simon Werrett.
When smallpox inoculation entered western medical practice in 1721 it aroused considerable controversy. A broad-based cohort of enlightened Germans such as publishers, poets, pastors and elite women attempted to dispel the doubts and encourage the innovative procedure. Yet many parents remained fearful, and the contagiousness of inoculation also necessitated a new approach. National pride in the past defeat of bubonic plague aroused optimism that smallpox could be banished using a similar strategy. The arrival in 1800 of Jenner’s vaccine ended the debates by offering yet another promising new approach.
Battling Smallpox before Vaccination explores the social and medical impacts of inoculation. It offers belated recognition for the valiant attempts of the many protagonists battling against the so-called ‘murdering angel’ before Edward Jenner’s discovery of vaccination. It provides a comprehensive description and penetrating analysis of the understanding and perception of smallpox, the propagation of pro-inoculation information, varied reactions to inoculation, and debates over the idealistic goal of eradicating smallpox.
Exploring People and Nature, 1700–1850
The book analyses from a comparative perspective the exploration of territories, the histories of their inhabitants, and local natural environments during the long eighteenth century. The eleven chapters look at European science at home and abroad as well as at global scientific practices and the involvement of a great variety of local actors in the processes of mapping and recording. Dealing with landlocked territories with no colonies (like Switzerland) and places embedded in colonial networks, the book reveals multifarious entanglements connecting these territories.

Contributors are: Sarah Baumgartner, Simona Boscani Leoni, Stefanie Gänger, Meike Knittel, Francesco Luzzini, Jon Mathieu, Barbara Orland, Irina Podgorny, Chetan Singh, and Martin Stuber.
Volume Editors: Thijs Porck and Harriet Soper
How did the life course, with all its biological, social and cultural aspects, influence the lives, writings, and art of the inhabitants of early medieval England? This volume explores how phases of human life such as childhood, puberty, and old age were identified, characterized, and related in contemporary sources, as well as how nonhuman life courses were constructed. The multi-disciplinary contributions range from analyses of age vocabulary to studies of medicine, name-giving practices, theology, Old English poetry, and material culture. Combined, these cultural-historical perspectives reveal how the concept and experience of the life course shaped attitudes in early medieval England.
Contributors are Jo Appleby, Debby Banham, Darren Barber, Caroline R. Batten, James Chetwood, Katherine Cross, Amy Faulkner, Jacqueline Fay, Elaine Flowers, Daria Izdebska, Gale R. Owen-Crocker, Thijs Porck, and Harriet Soper.
Forgery and Early Modern Alchemy, Medicine and Natural Philosophy
Volume Editors: Didier Kahn and Hiro Hirai
The production of forgeries under the name of the Swiss physician Paracelsus (1493/94-1541) was an integral part of the diffusion of the Paracelsian movement in early modern Europe. Many of these texts were widely read and extremely influential. The inability of most readers of the time to distinguish the genuine from the fake amid the flood of publications contributed much to the emergence of Paracelsus’ legendary image as the patron of alchemy and occult philosophy. Innovative studies on largely overlooked aspects of Paracelsianism along with an extensive catalogue of Paracelsian forgeries make this volume an essential resource for future studies.

Contributors are Tobias Bulang, Dane T. Daniel, Charles D. Gunnoe, Jr., Hiro Hirai, Didier Kahn, Julian Paulus, Lawrence M. Principe, and Martin Žemla.

Originally published as Special Issue of the journal Early Science and Medicine, volume 24 (2019), no. 5-6 (published February 2020), with a revised Introduction and a new Appendix by Julian Paulus, entitled “A Catalogue Raisonné of Pseudo-Paracelsian Writings: Texts Attributed to Paracelsus and Paracelsian Writings of Doubtful Authenticity,” has been added.
Author: Fedir Razumenko


Following World War ii, many medical investigators continued their ambitious experimental interventions as rationalized, rather than justified, trials. In Canada, there were hardly any legally proscriptive or prescriptive instruments to regulate clinical experimentation until the 1960s. What was ethical could rightly be established only in the course of devising clinical research protocols and undertaking the procedures thereof. This paper examines an historical trajectory shaping human-subject research and its regulation in Canada. I argue that public disclosures of human experimentation, court litigation resulting from clinical research, international standardization of regulations on biomedical investigation, and the proliferation of clinical trials induced the evolution of human research ethics and the elaboration of guidelines to regulate it. In this process, Canadian physician-investigators adopted British and American guidelines on the conduct of ethically acceptable clinical research and modified them according to local circumstances. The first research ethics committees emerged at the Canadian university-affiliated teaching hospitals, where the investigative practices revealed and clarified the changing meanings of human research ethics.

In: European Journal for the History of Medicine and Health
Author: Magaly Tornay


This article analyzes the formation of research ethics and particularly of ethics committees in Switzerland by tracing their early history along distinct phases: (1) the first guidelines on human experimentation issued by the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences in 1970; (2) conceptual struggles in establishing these norms; (3) the emergence of a central medical-ethical committee in 1979; and (4) the first local ethics committee established in the rural canton of Thurgau in 1987. It analyzes the interplay between local practices, industrial standards, and a neoliberal, low-key, soft regulation by negotiation among peers. Key actors are the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, the pharmaceutical industry, and the canton of Thurgau. In this context, ‘research’ and ‘experiments’ for a long time remained disputed, unclear and risky notions. rec s were encouraged mainly as a way of distributing responsibility, of managing a wide array of risks and, crucially, as part of a wider strategy to avoid juridical and political regulation. The article asks, on a more general level, how and why ‘ethics’ entered this field and what becomes visible or obscured when issues are transposed into an ethical language.

Open Access
In: European Journal for the History of Medicine and Health
Knowledge Production and Transfiguration from the Renaissance to Today
Volume Editors: Axel Fliethmann and Christiane Weller
This volume addresses the interdependencies between visual technologies and epistemology with regard to our perception of the medical body. It explores the relationships between the imagination, the body, and concrete forms of visual representations: Ranging from the Renaissance paradigm of anatomy, to Foucault’s “birth of the clinic” and the institutionalised construction of a “medical gaze”; from “visual” archives of madness, psychiatric art collections, the politicisation and economisation of the body, to the post-human in mass media representations.
Contributions to this volume investigate medical bodies as historical, technological, and political constructs, constituted where knowledge formation and visual cultures intersect.

Contributors are: Axel Fliethmann, Michael Hau, Birgit Lang, Carolyn Lau, Heikki Lempa, Stefanie Lenk, Joanna Madloch, Barry Murnane, Jill Redner, Claudia Stein, Elizabeth Stephens, Corinna Wagner, and Christiane Weller.


Prescriptions of Local Botanicals for Emergency Use (K. Hyang’yak Kugŭppang 鄕藥救急方) is the oldest medical text extant on the Korean Peninsula and known to have been compiled during the latter half of the Koryŏ 高麗 dynasty (918–1392 ce). The key value of this work lies in the dissemination and praxis of medical knowledge. First, the author used annotations in order to record Koryŏ people’s pronunciations of the names of medicinal ingredients and symptoms introduced in the main body of the text. In addition, he made use of actual empirical cases to enhance the persuasiveness of treatment methods and integrated medicine newly introduced from Song 宋 China (960–1279) into medicine familiarly used from before. Finally, he edited this text with a focus on important and simple yet efficacious treatment methods. The book continued to be used steadily following publication. It was additionally printed no fewer than twice by the government of the Chosŏn 朝鮮 dynasty (1392–1910), which ousted Koryŏ, with its clinical usefulness heightened through the supplementation of explanations on medicinal ingredients use in these processes. In particular, the quotation of sentences from Prescriptions for Emergency Use in medical texts published by the Chosŏn government implies that the utility of the medical knowledge in this work was amply acknowledged. The intended readership of the medical information in Prescriptions for Emergency Use was the not the general populace who lived in the Korean Peninsula in the thirteenth-fourteenth centuries. They not only lacked the financial means to pay physicians but also were illiterate, so that they could not even read medical texts. In order for this work to be effective, it was necessary for it to address those who could read medical texts and put their contents into practice. In the end, the author of this book assumed scholar-gentry equipped with academic knowledge as its readers and sought to provide medical information tailored to their level and to realize medical service through them. Through this work, it is possible to see in a very concrete and vivid manner how medical knowledge was disseminated and, furthermore, how medical knowledge thus disseminated was put to use in an era when medical resources were insufficient.

In: East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine