Podcast series: History of smallpox eradication

20 May 2009

Variola virus

The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL has launched a series of podcasts on the ‘History of smallpox eradication’.

Dr Sanjoy Bhattacharya (UCL Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine) received a grant from the Wellcome Trust to develop the audio project which evolved out of a lecture series held at the centre. 

Smallpox, an infectious disease caused by two variants of the variola virus, was fully eradicated in 1980. The podcast series begins with Dr Larry Brilliant reflecting on the vaccine science improvements which introduced the possibility of an eradication in 1966-67. Dr Brilliant, currently vice-president of Google Inc., is the author of The Management of Smallpox Eradication in India (1980) and numerous scientific articles on infectious diseases and international health policy.

Professor Donald Henderson, the second speaker in the series, was director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) global smallpox eradication campaign (1966-77) and is a distinguished scholar of public health. In the audio podcast, he traces the collaborative efforts, and the obstacles, that brought the programme to fruition.

To listen to the podcasts and for more information on this story, follow the links at the top of the page.

 

UCL Context
The Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at UCL has a tradition of excellence in furthering the academic study of the history of medicine and an awareness of its importance. The centre is committed to furthering the knowledge of medicine’s past in order to offer analyses of the complexities and ambiguities, as well as the hard-won knowledge, surrounding health, diseases, and their treatment.

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