Category: History

How the “Don’t take this medication with grapefruit juice” warning originated

How a chance discovery by one scientist improved the safety of consumers worldwide.

/ September 29, 2022
Nuremberg Doctors Trial

COVID-19 vaccines and the Nuremberg Code

Antivaxxers love to claim that vaccine mandates (especially COVID-19 vaccine mandates) violate the Nuremberg Code and call for Nuremberg-style tribunals to hold public health and vaccine advocates "accountable". As usual, they have no idea what they are talking about. This is also not a new antivax narrative, although what is unprecedented is that what was once fringe even among antivaxxers is now...

/ August 29, 2022

Deciding Which Risks to Take

No medical treatment is risk-free. Paul Offit's new book covers the history of innovations that went awry and advises how to balance the risks of new medical innovations with the risk of not treating.

/ March 8, 2022

Science Goes Viral

Joe Schwarcz has done it again! His new book is not only packed with good science-based information, but is highly entertaining.

/ September 7, 2021

The First Woman Doctor in America

This book about the first woman doctor in America contains fascinating details about the Blackwell sisters, their struggles, and the times they lived in. Elizabeth Blackwell is to be commended for her accomplishments, but it appears that she was not a nice person.

/ June 22, 2021

New book: Anti-vaxxers: How to Challenge a Misinformed Movement

This book is a handy compendium of everything worth knowing about the anti-vaccine movement and how to challenge the misinformation.

/ September 8, 2020

The First Multiple Sclerosis Patient

Twenty years before Charcot described the nerve-destroying disease multiple sclerosis, an illegitimate British noble spent much of his adult life describing the disease and its effects.

/ August 28, 2020

Medical Apartheid

Harriet Washington's book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures.

/ April 9, 2019

The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment: A Fiasco with a Silver Lining

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment studied black men with advanced syphilis for 40 years. Patients were lied to and prevented from getting treatment. A black mark in the history of American medicine, it led to important reforms.

/ March 5, 2019

Molecular Phylogenetics: A New Way to Tell the Story of Evolution

The new science of molecular phylogenetics tells the story of evolution with no need to consult the fossil record. It has produced some surprises, including a whole new domain of life, the archaea.

/ November 13, 2018