The international growth and influence of bioethics has led some to identify it as a decisive shift in the location and exercise of 'biopower'. This book provides an in-depth study of how philosophers, lawyers and other 'outsiders' came to play a major role in discussing and helping to regulate issues that used to be left to doctors and scientists. It discusses how club regulation stemmed not only from the professionalising tactics of doctors and scientists, but was compounded by the 'hands-off' approach of politicians and professionals in fields such as law, philosophy and theology. The book outlines how theologians such as Ian Ramsey argued that 'transdisciplinary groups' were needed to meet the challenges posed by secular and increasingly pluralistic societies. It also examines their links with influential figures in the early history of American bioethics. The book centres on the work of the academic lawyer Ian Kennedy, who was the most high-profile advocate of the approach he explicitly termed 'bioethics'. It shows how Mary Warnock echoed governmental calls for external oversight. Many clinicians and researchers supported her calls for a 'monitoring body' to scrutinise in vitro fertilisation and embryo research. The growth of bioethics in British universities occurred in the 1980s and 1990s with the emergence of dedicated centres for bioethics. The book details how some senior doctors and bioethicists led calls for a politically-funded national bioethics committee during the 1980s. It details how recent debates on assisted dying highlight the authority and influence of British bioethicists.
Agnes Arnold-Forster is a Wellcome Trust funded Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Roehampton. She received her PhD on the history of cancer in nineteenth-century Britain from King's College London in 2017 and now works on the emotional landscape of the NHS from 1948 to the present. She has been published by Social History of Medicine, Gender & History, and the British Medical Journal.
Steffan Blayney is a Research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Sheffield. His research focuses on the relations between health, the body, and society, and on histories of political activism in modern and contemporary Britain.
Melissa Dickson is a Lecturer in Victorian Literature at the University of Birmingham. She has a PhD from King's College, London, and an MPhil, BA, and University Medal from the University of Queensland, Australia. She is the author of Cultural Encounters with the Arabian Nights in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2019) and co-author of Anxious Times: Medicine and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (2019).
Christopher Hamlin is a historian of science, technology, and medicine, Professor in the Department of History and the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame, and Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research focuses broadly on the application of knowledge to public needs, mainly in areas relating to health. In nearly six dozen articles and several books, he has examined concepts of disease and disease causation, forensic science and expert disagreement, the assessment of water and air, the regulation of environmental nuisances, social epidemiology (focusing on issues of hunger and exposure), alternative agricultures, and cultural and religious concepts of nature. He is author of A Science of Impurity (1990), Public Health and Social Justice in the Age of Chadwick: Britain, 1800–1854 (1998), Cholera: The Biography (2009), More than HOT: A Short History of Fever (2014), and most recently co-editor of Global Forensic Cultures (2019).
Manon Mathias is a Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow. She has published several book chapters and journal articles on the nineteenth-century novel, particularly the works of George Sand. Her monograph, Vision in the Novels of George Sand, was published in 2016. Her current research project focuses on the digestive system in nineteenth-century French medicine and culture. She is the co-editor of Gut Feeling and Digestive Health in Nineteenth-Century Literature, History and Culture (2018).
Projit Bihari Mukharji is an Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He was educated in India and the UK and researches the histories of science and medicine in modern South Asia. Mukharji is particularly interested in how different traditions of knowledge making interact. He is the author of two monographs, Nationalizing the Body: The Medical Market, Print and Daktari Medicine (2009) and Doctoring Traditions: Ayurveda, Small Technologies and Braided Sciences (2016).
Mikko Myllykangas is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the History of Sciences and Ideas at the University of Oulu, Finland. In 2014, he defended his doctoral dissertation, in which he studied the medicalisation of suicide and the history of medical suicide research in Finland in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since then, he has done research on the history of social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology of suicide, on the history of child suicide, and on the history of suicide prevention during the modern era. Currently, he is working on the history of stress and the proliferation of the concept of stress in the discourses of psychiatric and somatic medicine.
Torsten Riotte is currently Acting Professor for Modern European History at the University of Tübingen. Educated at Cologne and Cambridge, he has worked at the German Historical Institute, London, and the Goethe University Frankfurt. He has published widely on nineteenth-century European history with a special focus on Germany, Britain, and France. His latest research project deals with medical malpractice and professional liability insurance in nineteenth-century Germany as part of a broader study on the transformation of individual and collective responsibility in Modern Europe.
Laurens Schlicht is a historian of science and a Research Associate on the ‘Mind Reading as Cultural Practice’ project based at Humboldt University in Berlin. He has a PhD from Frankfurt University and is author of Tabula Rasa: Beobachtung von Sprache und Geist am Menschen in der Société des observateurs de l’homme 1789–1830 (forthcoming), and co-editor of Mind Reading as Cultural Practice (forthcoming).
Sally Shuttleworth is a Professor of English Literature at the University of Oxford. She has published extensively on the inter-relations of science and culture, including George Eliot and Nineteenth-Century Science (1984), Charlotte Brontë and Victorian Psychology (1996), and The Mind of the Child: Child Development in Literature, Science and Medicine, 1840–1900 (2010). Between 2014 and 2019 she directed two large research projects, ‘Constructing Scientific Communities: Citizen Science in the 19th and 21st centuries’, www.conscicom.org (AHRC funded) and ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’, www.diseasesofmodernlife.org (ERC funded).
Daniel Simpson is a Caird Fellow at the National Maritime Museum. His research interests include the history of ethnographic collecting by the Royal Navy in Australia in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and the circulation of museum objects through British ports. He is currently writing a book, provisionally titled The Royal Navy in Indigenous Australia, 1795–1855: Maritime Encounters and Museum Collections.
Kristine Swenson is a Professor and Department Chair in English and Technical Communication at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO. Her research areas are Victorian literature and culture, literature and medicine, and women's cultural history. Swenson's publications include Medical Women in Victorian Fiction (2005); ‘Mindblindness: Metaphor and Neuroaesthetics in the Works of Silas Weir Mitchell and Simon Baron-Cohen’, Literature, Neurology and Neuroscience: Historical and Literary Connections, Progress in Brain Research, 205 (2013); and ‘Scholarship in Victorian women and medicine: a critical overview’, Literature Compass, 10:5 (May 2013), 461–72. Her most recent scholarly projects concern heterodox medical practices, particularly as they were employed by women practitioners.
Steven J. Taylor is a historian of childhood and medicine. His research explores ideas and constructions of childhood health, lay and professional diagnoses, ability and disability, and institutional care. His first monograph, Beyond the Asylum: Child Insanity in England, 1845–1907, was published in 2017. He is currently researching the experience of special schools in the early twentieth century as a Wellcome Trust ISSF Fellow at the University of Leicester.
Emilie Taylor-Brown is a Postdoctoral Researcher on the ERC-funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’ project based at the University of Oxford. She is currently writing two monographs: one on Victorian understandings of gut health, the other on parasitology and the British literary imagination in the nineteenth century. Her research interests include history of medicine, health humanities, nineteenth-century fiction, and literature and science studies.
Alice Tsay earned her PhD in English Language and Literature as well as a Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Michigan. She works in the Office of the President at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and previously held the role of Director for Library Programming and Public Affairs at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.