Biomedicine in the Twentieth Century: Practices, Policies, and Politics is a testimony to the growing interest of scholars in the development of the biomedical sciences in the twentieth century and to the number of historians, social scientists and health policy analysts now working on the subject. The book is comprised of essays by noted historians and social scientists that offer insights on a range of subjects that should be a significant stimulus for further historical investigation. It details the NIH’s practices, policies and politics on a variety of fronts, including the development of the intramural program, the National Institute of Mental Health and mental health policy, the politics and funding of heart transplantation and the initial focus of the National Cancer Institute. Comparisons can be made with the development of other American and British institutions involved in medical research, such as the Rockefeller Institute and the Medical Research Council. Discussions of the larger scientific and social context of United States’ federal support for research, the role of lay institutions in federal funding of virus research, the consequences of technology transfer and patenting, the effects of vaccine and drug development and the environment of research discoveries all offer new insights and suggest questions for further exploration.
The editor wishes to acknowledge with gratitude the contributions of the many people and organizations that have made this volume possible. The book is based on a conference that was held at the National Institutes of Health in December 2005 to promote historical research on biomedical science in the twentieth century. The conference was conceived as a way to honor Victoria A. Harden, the founding Director of the Office of NIH History, on her retirement. The conference was sponsored by the Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) of the Office of the Director, the administrative home at the time of the Office of NIH History. Special thanks to John Burklow, NIH Associate Director for Communications, and Judy Fouche, Administrative Officer, OCPL, for their generous support and encouragement. Financial support for the conference also came from the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences, Inc. The assistance of Henry Metzger, President, Board of Directors, FAES, was much appreciated. The National Library of Medicine provided meeting space and support. The following individuals in the Office of NIH History worked with the editor in important ways too numerous to describe in staging the conference: Victoria A. Harden, Sarah Leavitt, Brooke Fox, Michele Lyons, Leo Slater, Buhm Soon Park, Lisa Walker, and Mary Alvarez. It was a group effort to which all contributed.
Bringing the volume to publication was generously assisted by the support of the Office of Intramural Research (OIR), the administrative location of the Office of NIH History since 2006. The editor thanks Michael M. Gottesman, NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research, Richard G. Wyatt, Executive Director, OIR, and Alan N. Schechter, Acting Director, Office of NIH History, for their assistance in moving the project forward. She also thanks members of the Advisory Committee to the Office of NIH History, especially its chair Peter Greenwald, for encouragement. Helpful assistance was also provided by the NIH Division of Medical Arts, especially by Bryan Ewsichek, Designer and Project Manager. The editor is very grateful to all the contributors who worked so hard to make their essays lively contributions to the historical analysis of biomedicine in the twentieth century. In addition, thanks are due to Yale Altman, editorial director of IOS Press, for his assistance.
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