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The Progress of Experiment

The Progress of Experiment
Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900–1990


Part of Cambridge Studies in the History of Medicine

  • Date Published: December 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521785617

£ 26.99

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About the Authors
  • How do we evaluate the safety and benefit of new drugs? What tasks do we hold the government responsible for and which ones do we leave to the medical profession? Harry Marks explores the origins of our contemporary system of drug regulation and the modern clinical trial. He shows that the story of modern drug regulation is synonymous with the history of therapeutic reform. Accompanying this history of public policy is a detailed account of changing experimental ideal and practices. Marks follows the history of therapeutic experimentation, from the 'collective investigations' of the last century to the controlled clinical trial which emerged after 1950 as the paradigm of scientific experimentation. The result is the first general history of clinical research in the United States, a book which examines therapeutic experiments in a wide range of diseases, from syphilis and pneumonia to heart disease and diabetes.

    • Deals with both the science and politics of drug evaluation and regulation
    • The first in-depth history of professional drug regulation in twentieth century America
    • The first archive-based general history of contemporary clinical trial
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Harry Marks' book on science and therapeutic reform in the USA during the 20th century is the best available account of the progress of clinical experiment available, and nobody seriously interested in the topic can afford not to read it.' Endeavour

    ' … the book has become essential reading for anyone thinking about the place of science within twentieth-century medicine.' Medical History

    'The Progress of Experiment is a book rich in empirical detail, all meticulously documented in long footnotes. … this book makes for interesting reading for anybody interested in arriving at a historically based judgement on the potential scope and limits of evidence-based medicine. With its detailed, well-researched case studies it will also provide good course reading. It is laudable that the paperback edition makes this book available to a wider group of potential readers.' The British Society for the History of Science

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521785617
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Of Institutions and Character: The Era of Organisational Reform:
    1. A rational therapeutics
    2. Memories of underdevelopment: therapeutic research in the US 1900–1935
    3. Playing it safe: the federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938
    4. War and Peace
    Part II. Of Statistics and Institutions, or the Triumph of Method:
    5. Managing chance
    6. You gotta have heart
    7. Anatomy of a controversy: the University Group Diabetes Program study
    8. The dreams of reason.

  • Author

    Harry M. Marks, The Johns Hopkins University

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