Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Professor Susanne Klausen

I want to add my voice to the calls being made to save the Centre.

I for one have benefited hugely from my involvement with the Centre, which I started visiting in the late 1990s when I was a doctoral student. I was always struck by how welcoming and supportive the Centre staff was to graduate students like me who were visiting the UK to conduct research. The ability to have a base at the Centre, a mere two-minute walk from the Wellcome library and situated practically next door to the BL, was a huge help since I don't have family or professional connections in London. And while there I had the great good fortune to meet brilliant, inspiring scholars like the late, great Roy Porter, who, while Director, made a point of involving visiting scholars like me in the life of the Centre. It would be a huge loss to scholars from around the world needing to work in London who have come to depend on the Centre as a 'home away from home.'

I sincerely hope the powers-that-be reconsider their apparently rash decision to shut down that vibrant site of international research and collegiality.

Susanne Klausen
Carleton University

Friday, 28 May 2010

4000 signatures on the petition!

Please continue to pledge your support and spread the word...

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Professor Christopher Blagg

As someone who has been around in my chosen field since its beginning 50 years ago and who took part in one of the most recent Wellcome Witness Seminars I believe closing of the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine is a tragic mistake. I am currently working on a book on the history of my field and have been asked to talk about its history at professional meetings here in the United States and elsewhere and frequently am surprised by the lack of knowledge about its origins and growing pains among young physicians today.

The publications by the Centre and the facilities offered by its library are an outstanding resource that is recognized worldwide and should be saved.

Christopher R. Blagg MD FRCP
Professor Emeritus of Medicine
University of Washington
Executive Director Emeritus
Northwest Kidney Centers
Seattle, Washington, USA

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mr Peter Hamlyn

The Centre is never more relevant than it is today. Its closure is inappropriate and will clearly cost lives, in number and quality, in Britain and abroad. I am a neurosurgeon, a subject with a very short history. However I see the role of alternative therapies positively and after 20 years of consultant practice see it as every bit as relevant as ever it was. Patients want it and it works. In another role I was one of the five medics who presented the London 2012 Olympic bid to the IOC in February 2005 before the successful vote in July. The key to its legacy is to deliver a nation and indeed a planet of spectators who will feel inspired to exercise. Inactivity is our biggest killer in the developed nations. The oriental cultures have exercise as a key element to health. Chinese parks are full of exercising elderly. As a result they live longer, more independently and with less disability than do we.

How do I know this? Because of the work uncovered and presented by the Wellcome Centre.

If in history we look back and see that the reason for closure was really as banal as a bid document not being lodged on time the conclusion will be that the process of administration got in front of the mission. And, if that comes to pass we can only hope that the individuals responsible are seen for what that makes them.

Medicine is not immune from the need to learn from and build on its history lest it too is condemned to repeat it. You cannot expect to learn from your history without studying it. No one does that like the Wellcome.

Peter Hamlyn MB BS, BSc, MD, FRCS, FISM
Consultant Neurosurgeon
Fellow of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine

Friday, 14 May 2010

Dr John Lee

I am indebted to the Centre of the History of Medicine. As a rather green, blinkered medical student who had a fairly narrow education, I applied for a place to do an intercalated bachelors degree at the Centre in the mid eighties. I have always looked back to the time as life changing. I learnt about the rigour of history, the art of enquiry and cultural exposition. In this year, I grew up, and understood so much better about mankind and society. I became more respectful of others and of the privileges I had as a doctor in training. How could anyone be contemplating losing the opportunities for future students?

Dr John Lee
Consultant in Pain Medicine

UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The future of medical history

The Wellcome Centre for the History of Medicine is hosting a three-day international conference on the future of the history of medicine. Papers are invited on the disciplinary and methodological challenges facing the field in all aspects of research and resourcing, not excluding media technologies and publishing. More ...

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

3000 signatures for our online petition

We are pleased to announce that the online petition to Save History of Medicine at UCL now has its 3000th signature. However, we would like many more in order to make an even greater impact. If you would like to show your support by signing the petition, please do so, and pass the details to concerned friends and colleagues...