Bulletin of the History of Medicine
Johns Hopkins University Press
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Hopwood, N., Jones, P. M., Kassell, L., & Secord, J. (2015). Communicating Reproduction. Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 89 379-404. https://doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2015.0064
Communication should be central to histories of reproduction, because it has structured how people do and do not reproduce. Yet communication has been so pervasive, and so various, that it is often taken for granted and the historical specificities overlooked. Making communication a frame for histories of reproduction can draw a fragmented field together, including by putting the promotion of esoteric ideas on a par with other practical activities. Paying communication close attention can revitalize the history of reproduction over the long term by highlighting continuities as well as the complex connections between new technologies and new approaches. Themes such as the power of story-telling, the claiming and challenging of expertise, and relations between knowledge and ignorance, secrecy and propriety also invite further study.
authority and expertise, communication, generation and reproduction, ignorance and knowledge, secrets and silences, telling stories
This essay introduces a special issue that began in a conference on “Communicating Reproduction” (http://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/medicine/communicating.html) held at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge in December 2011. This was linked to an exhibition on “Books and Babies” at Cambridge University Library curated by Mary Fissell, NH, PMJ, Francis Neary, and JS (legacy website: http://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/exhibitions/Babies). We thank the Wellcome Trust for funding the meeting and the exhibition through a strategic award in the history of medicine on the theme “Generation to Reproduction” , Francis Neary for sterling organizational work, and all participants for their engagement.
Wellcome Trust (088708/Z/09/Z)
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/bhm.2015.0064
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/249013
Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/uk/