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Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Medicines, Translations and Histories

Symposium at the University of Manchester
Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June 2015
Manchester Conference Centre

Download the programme, including abstracts (pdf)

The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM) at the University of Manchester is pleased to announce a workshop on 11-12 June 2015 that will explore three types of translation in medicine and history:

  1. the bench-to-bedside enterprise of harnessing knowledge from basic sciences to produce new drugs, devices and treatment options for patients;
  2. the business of adapting and diffusing research into clinical practice, ensuring new treatments and research knowledge actually reach the patients or populations for whom they are intended; and
  3. the translational work needed for the research of historians, ethnographers, ethicists and other social scientists to engage with clinicians, health policy, and public concerns about health and the healthcare system.

The meeting will end with a round table where historians of medicine and medical journal editors discuss the place of historical perspectives in contemporary policymaking and what needs to be done to bridge this communication gap.

The meeting will be held on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th June 2015, at the Manchester Conference Centre on Sackville Street. 

The event will start the previous evening (Wednesday 10th) with a dinner.  The Workshop format means that there are a very limited number of places for delegates.  If you would like to attend, please email Dr Carsten Timmermann, setting out briefly your interest in the topic of the meeting.  The fee for delegates is £200, which includes two nights B&B (10th and 11th June), an evening meal on the 10th, and coffee, lunch and tea on 11th and 12th.

This event is linked to a Wellcome Trust Programme Grant and we gratefully acknowledge the support of the Trust.


Thursday 11 June

9.00-10.30       Translating from the Lab

Introduction: Carsten Timmermann & Michael Worboys, CHSTM, University of Manchester.

‘Howard S Liddell had a farm and on that farm the animals went… neurotic: experimental neurosis and the translation of psychopathology, c. 1923 to 1962’, Robert G. W. Kirk, CHSTM, University of Manchester, and Edmund Ramsden, Queen Mary University of London.

‘The rise and fall of “Wellcovax”: Translating biomedicine across different medical contexts’, Andrew Black, CHSTM, University of Manchester.


11.00-12.30     Translating from the Lab

'From cortisone to NSAIDs: Lab-clinic relations with rheumatoid arthritis, 1950-1965', Michael Worboys, CHSTM, University of Manchester.

‘Translating science, changing definitions: Gene therapy as (ideal) pharmacological approach’, Rossella Costa, Sapienza University of Rome.

‘Looking for translation in the history of human genomics’, Miguel García-Sancho, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies, University of Edinburgh.


13.30-15.00     Translating to and around the clinic

‘Translating Translational Medicine: STS for, against or with physicians?’ Vincent Pidoux, Université́ libre de Bruxelles.

‘How to justify the need for translation? The multiple dimensions of translational medical research’, Barbara Hendriks and Anne K. Krueger, Humboldt University Berlin.

‘Translating the “Problems of Ageing”? Alex Comfort and the measurement of senescence (1954-1984)’, Tiago Moreira, Durham University.


15.30-16.30     Translating to and around the clinic

‘A Political Economic History of Translational Medicine and Science’, Mark Robinson, School for New Learning, DePaul University, Chicago.

‘Show me the Money! Translating clinical needs into cancer research funding’, Carsten Timmermann, CHSTM, University of Manchester.

Friday 12 June

9.15-10.15       Translating to and around the clinic

‘Making Heart-Lung Machines work in India: Technology Transfer and Translation’, David Jones, Harvard University.

‘When vaccines travel: Translating Salk vaccine from lab to field across the Iron Curtain’, Dora Vargha, Birkbeck College, University of London.


10.45-12.15     Translating to and around the clinic

‘Translating morals between bench and bedside: The early history of IVF in Britain’, Duncan Wilson, CHSTM, University of Manchester.

‘Using the History of Randomized Controlled Trials to Understand the Evolution of Human Subjects Research Ethics’, Laura E. Bothwell, Harvard Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston.

‘Translational medicine, quality improvement health research and service user involvement: Critical reflections on questions of epistemology, methodology, ethics and politics’, Diana Rose and Konstantina Poursanidou, King's College London.


13.15-14.45     Translating Histories

‘The death of the natural history of disease: implications for translational medicine’, Robert Aronowitz, University of Pennsylvania.

‘In-hospital cardiac arrest: Can historical research into practices, attitudes and beliefs of staff inform clinical management strategies today?’ Andrew Morley, M. Barnett ,M. Sicinski, O. Richardson, St Thomas’s and Guys Hospital, and Stephanie Snow, CHSTM, University of Manchester.

‘Making old drugs new again: Historical perspectives on innovation and access to essential medicines’, Jeremy Greene, Institute for the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University.


15.15-16.30     Translating Histories

Round Table on Histories, Medicines and Translations
Deborah Cotton, Boston University Medical School and Deputy Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine; David Jones, Harvard University, Jeremy Greene Institute for the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University.

The programme is available to download as pdf: Programme including abstracts

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