The Roy Porter Prize Articles

The following articles are past winners of the Roy Porter essay prize. If you would like more details of upcoming deadlines for the prize, see the prizes page.

2021: Martijn van der Meer, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, ‘Sown without care: Dutch eugenicists and their call for optimising development conditions, 1919-1939’. (Not yet published in Social History of Medicine).

2020: John Beales, Keele University and the Imperial War Museums, ‘Of One Blood?’ Challenging perceptions of wartime blood donor motivation and behaviour: a case study of Bristol and the South West, 1939-1945’ (Not yet published in Social History of Medicine).

2019: Elizabeth Evens, UCL, ‘Playboy Yearbooks and the backlash to women’s increased presence in U.S. medical schools’ (Not yet published in Social History of Medicine)

2018: Mateusz Zatonski, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), ‘Lighting up under the “No Smoking” sign: tobacco control regulation in Communist Poland’ (Not yet published in Social History of Medicine)

2017: Kit Heintzman, Harvard University, ‘Bedrooms and Barnyards: Two Medicines in Revolutionary France’ (Not yet published in Social History of Medicine)

Click on the titles below to read these articles FREE online:

2016: Spencer Weinreich, University of Oxford

How (not) to survive a plague: The theology of fleeing disease in sixteenth-century England

2015: Rebecca Whiteley, UCL
Figuring Pictures and Picturing Figures: Images of the Pregnant Body and the Unborn Child in England, 1540-c.1680

2014: Erica Storm, Stanford University
Gilding the Pill: The Sensuous Consumption of Patent Medicines, 1815–1841

2013: Julie Hipperson, King’s College London
Professional entrepreneurs: Women veterinary surgeons as small business owners in interwar Britain

2012: Caitlin Mahar, The University of Melbourne
Easing the Passing: R v. Adams and Terminal Care in Postwar Britain

2011: Bradley Matthys Moore, University of Wisconsin
For the People’s Health: Ideology, Medical Authority, and Hygienic Science in Communist Czechoslovakia, 1952-62

2010: Seth LeJacq, Johns Hopkins University
The Bounds of Domestic Healing: Medical Recipes, Storytelling and Surgery in Early Modern England

2008: Mark Honigsbaum, University College London
The Great Dread: Cultural and Psychological Impacts and Reponses to the ‘Russian’ Influenza in the United Kingdom, 1889-1893

2007: Olivia Weisser, Johns Hopkins University
Boils, Pushes, and Wheals: Reading Bumps on the Body in Early Modern England

2006: Matthew Smith, University of Exeter
Psychiatry Limited: Hyperactivity and the Evolution of American Psychiatry, 1957-80

2005: Beth Linker, Yale University
Feet for Fighting: Locating Disability and Social Medicine in First World War America

2004: Matthew Warner Osborn, University of California, Davis
Diseased Imaginations: Constructing Delirium Tremens in Philadelphia, 1813-1832

2003: Marianne Samayoa, University of Missouri-St. Louis
More Than Quacks: Seeking Medical Care in Late Colonial New Spain

Previous Prize Competitions

2002 Jeremy Greene (doctoral candidate MD/PhD Program, History of Science Dep., Harvard University). Therapeutic Infidelities: Noncompliance Enters the Medical Literature, 1955-1975. Student Essay CompetitionPublished in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 17, No. 3, December 2004, pp. 327-43

2001 Angela Montford (postgraduate research student, Dep. of Medieval History, University of St Andrews). Dangers and Disorders: The Decline of the Dominican Frater Medicus. Student Essay CompetitionPublished in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 16, No. 2, August 2003, pp. 169-91.

2000 Christian Bonah. ‘Experimental Rage’, the Development of Medical Ethics and the Genesis of Scientific Facts. Ludwig Fleck: An Answer to the Crisis of Modern Medicine in Interwar Germany? Millennium Essay CompetitionPublished in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 2, August 2002, pp. 187-207.

2000 Lisa W. Smith. Reassessing the role of the family: Women’s Medical Care in Eighteenth-century England. Student Millennium Essay CompetitionPublished in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 16, No. 3, December 2003, pp. 327-42

1999 Susan Broomhall. ‘Women’s Little Secrets’: Defining the Boundaries of Reproductive Knowledge in the Sixteenth Century. Published in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 1, April 2002, pp. 1-15.

1998 Patricia R. Stokes. Pathology, Danger, and Power: Women’s and Physicians’ Views of Pregnancy and Childbirth in Weimer Germany. Published in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 13, No.3, December 2000, pp.358-80.

1997 Lauren Kassell. How to Read Simon Forman’s Casebooks: Medicine, Astrology, and Gender in Elizabethan London. Published in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 12, No.1, April 1999, pp.3-18.

1996 Luke Davidson. ‘Identities Ascertained’: British Ophthalmology in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century. Published in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 9, No. 3, December 1996, pp.313-33.

1993 Bernadine Courtwright Barr. Entertaining and Instructing the Public: Dr John Zahorsky’s 1904 Incubator Institute. Published in Social History of Medicine, Vol. 8, No.1, April 1995, pp.17-36.

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