The Science of Sickness & Health
Medicine is where science intersects most directly with our bodies. From leeches to vaccines, germ theory to gene therapy, the ways we think about health and healing are shaped by how we observe—and seek to manipulate—the natural and material world.
Health & Medicine Collection
Medications and documents, manuals, and photographs relating to biochemical research and technology.
Animals and the Making of Human Vaccines
Learn about the role of animals and their cells in the development of lifesaving vaccines.
American Fevers, American Plagues
How yellow fever outbreaks in the early United States anticipated much of what we lament about the COVID-19 era.
John Snow Hunts the Blue Death
In showing that cholera spreads through tainted water, an English doctor helped lay epidemiology’s foundations.
A pill to treat high blood pressure in African Americans had the unintended consequence of perpetuating the myth that race is a biological construct.
Learn about the Scottish microbiologist whose accidental discovery of penicillin changed the course of modern medicine.
THE DISAPPEARING SPOON PODCAST
The Lifesaving Rat Poison
Follow blood thinner warfarin’s unlikely journey from moldy clover and cow killer to lifesaving drug.
Medicinal Leeches and Where to Find Them
The rise, fall, and resurrection of the humble leech.
Fighting Through the Fear
Lessons from the Polio Pioneers in an era of misinformation.
Young and Positive
Sophisticated drugs have enabled those with HIV to live long lives—as long as they take their medication.
The Nurse Who Introduced Gloves to the Operating Room
Caroline Hampton and the forgotten origins of the first personal protective equipment.
Oral History: George Rosenkranz
Interview with the pioneering steroid researcher who was instrumental in developing the oral contraceptive.