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Humane Professions
The Defence of Experimental Medicine, 1876–1914

$39.99 (F)

  • Date Published: October 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108748032


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About the Authors
  • In this compelling history of the co-ordinated, transnational defence of medical experimentation in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Rob Boddice explores the experience of vivisection as humanitarian practice. He captures the rise of the professional and specialist medical scientist, whose métier was animal experimentation, and whose guiding principle was 'humanity' or the reduction of the aggregate of suffering in the world. He also highlights the rhetorical rehearsal of scientific practices as humane and humanitarian, and connects these often defensive professions to meaningful changes in the experience of doing science. Humane Professions examines the strategies employed by the medical establishment to try to cement an idea in the public consciousness: that the blood spilt in medical laboratories served a far-reaching human good.

    • Examines international networking of medical scientists
    • Provides insights into the lived experience of medical science
    • Offers a revised understanding of the role of the medical establishment in influencing public opinion and government policy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Humane Professions is an absorbing, and vitally important, account of the response of medical scientists from 1876 to 1914 to the anti-vivisection movement's demand for legal regulation. Boddice has pulled back the curtain on the development of an internationally networked defence of experimental science for the lay public based on depicting the medical researcher as a heroic humanitarian.' Bernard Lightman, York University

    ‘Humane Professions is a rich and perceptive account of experimental priorities in medical science that refuses to take for granted the stakes of scientific knowledge and its production for actors inside and outside professional circles. Boddice shows how, at its core, the story of making knowledge is a story of claiming humanness.' Todd Meyers, McGill University

    ‘… a compelling account … Well-written and meticulously researched … Historians … will find Humane Professions a very valuable addition to the historiography.’ Karen Ross, Social History of Medicine

    'Boddice’s book is a welcome addition to the literature of the history of physiology, experimental medicine, biomedical research, and-most of all-the antivivisection movement. It provides valuable insight into a dynamic period when medical science was transformed from a largely solitary, self-funded activity into an international enterprise deemed worthy of philanthropic and government support. The book is well written.’ W. Bruce Fye, Bulletin of the History of Medicine

    ‘Boddice’s depth of research is impressive … Humane Professions is a book that should be carefully considered by historians of medicine and biological science focused on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries’ Sarah E. Naramore, Isis

    ‘The book is well grounded in the relevant historiography and driven by key archvies … the book is at its strongest as a cultural history tracking the origins and circulation of motifs, messages and homilies.’ Peter Hobbins, Canadian Journal of Health History

    ‘Boddice closely and systematically reconstructs how the information network of British and American scientists was ultimately able to shift public opinion, not through dry academic research and statistics but through 'emotional labor' - the use of personal stories and sentimental experiences. Although most previous studies of the history of animal experimentation have focused on the voices of anti-vivisectionists, this book also presents the conflict from medical scientists’ point of view, allowing for a more comprehensive understanding of how the controversies originated.’ Pamela Lee, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108748032
    • length: 214 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.297kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Experior
    1. Darwin's compromise
    2. Medical monsters? 3. Of laboratories and legislatures
    4. Paget's public
    5. Cannon fire
    Epilogue: Humanity and human experimentation.

  • Author

    Rob Boddice, Tampere University
    Rob Boddice is currently a senior research fellow at the Academy of Finland Centre of Excellence in the History of Experiences, Tampere University, Finland. He is an internationally renowned scholar in the histories of emotions, science and medicine. His previous volumes include The Science of Sympathy (2016), Pain: A Very Short Introduction (2017), The History of Emotions (2018) and A History of Feelings (2019). This is his tenth book.

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