A Contagious Cause: The Search for Cancer Viruses and the Growth of American Biomedicine

~This post courtesy Emily Gustainis, Deputy Director, Center for the History of Medicine of the Francis A. Countway Library at the Harvard Medical School.

Register now via EventBrite!

The Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, invites you to join us for the lecture A Contagious Cause: The Search for Cancer Viruses and the Growth of American Biomedicine with Robin Wolfe Scheffler, Leo Marx Career Development Professor in History and Culture of Science and Technology at the Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT.

Throughout the twentieth century, few theories have caused more hope and frustration than the idea that cancer might be caused by a virus. This search for cancer viruses over successive generations of medical, scientific, and organizational advances serves as a lens through which we can understand the political ground upon which biology and medicine merged to form biomedicine in America and which enabled biologists to reimagine the nature of life in molecular terms.

The event will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 in the Minot Room, Countway Library, from 6:00-7:00.  Registration is required.  Please visit our EventBrite page to register.

“Reading Vesalius Across the Ages” and Annual Celebration of the Library

~Post courtesy ALLISON E. PIAZZA, MLIS, Reference Services and Outreach Librarian at the New York Academy of Medicine

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Venue: The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029

Cost: Free; advance registration required

Friends of the Rare Book Room are invited to a private reception with the speaker prior to the event; please email emiranker@nyam.org if you wish to attend.




How was Vesalius’ Fabrica read across the ages? This talk analyzes how, in the past five hundred years, copies the Fabrica travelled across the globe, and how readers studied, annotated and critiqued its contents from 1543 to 2017. Dániel Margócsy will discuss the book’s complex reception history and show how physicians, artists, theologians and collectors filled its pages with copious annotations. He will also offer an interpretation of how this atlas of anatomy became one of the most coveted rare books for collectors in the 21st century.


Refreshments will be served following the lecture and there will be an opportunity to view new rare book acquisitions of the library collections.


About the Speaker: Dániel Margócsy studies the cultural history of early modern science. He has taught at Northwestern University and at Hunter College, the City University of New York, and received his PhD in the History of Science from Harvard University in 2009. His first book, Commercial Visions: Science, Trade and Visual Culture in the Dutch Golden Age (Chicago, 2014) examined the impact of global trade on cultural production in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. He currently lectures on Science, Technology and Medicine Before 1800 at University of Cambridge.