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About the Centre for the History of Medicine

Established in 1999, the Centre’s staff and students seek to understand medical ideas, practices, and institutions in their broad social and cultural contexts, and to utilise and develop intellectual tools to engage with the many challenges faced by medicine both historically and in contemporary society.

Employing historical, literary, ethnographic, and social science methodologies:

  • We ask questions about how medicine works, the basis of its authority, and what ethical and moral questions are involved in its practice.
  • We investigate how the practice of medicine is related to wider intellectual, cultural, social, political, and economic trends, to changes at a particular moment in history or at the present.
  • We aim to contribute to the formation of new intellectual agendas and perspectives around the history of medicine.
  • We aspire to reach beyond academic life and engage with the local community and the public at large over contemporary medical and scientific concerns, and to do so in creative and innovative ways.